Tag Archives: Teoh Beng Hock

The Year So Far (2011)


I had earlier joked about how a tough year this was going to be with the evil Rabbits in charge (Beware the Year of the Rabbit).  But the humor seems very flat as the year has indeed turned out to be a tumultuous one thus far and it’s not even the end of February yet.  In an earlier post, “Feeling Flat“, I wondered about the unprecedented floods in Queensland, the uber powerful cyclone Yasi, the drought in New South Wales, the flooding in Victoria and the forest fires around Perth.  Australia was reeling under the combination punches.  There was also the political turmoil, starting with the ouster of President Ben Ali in Tunisia and then the “who would have thought possible” ouster of President Mubarak of Egypt by popular uprisings.  That chain of events is not over yet with the on-going protests in Libya, Yeman, Bahrain, Iran etc.  There was also the issue of religious freedom and oppression which I covered in “Say no to Intolerance“.  Did I say that it isn’t even the end of February yet?

In Malaysia too, the news has been less than encouraging and upbeat.  In no particular order, here are a few.  First, there has been a rash of very public suicides and murder-suicides (mother kills child and then commits suicide).  This was followed by a recognition that Malaysian suicide rate per 1000 pax is at least as high as that of the USA and is most likely under-reported.  Then, there is the continuing saga of the inquiry into the suspicious death of a political aide, Teoh Beng Hock, where justice still seems to be wanting.  The latest is that the family and the state of Selangor has withdrawn from participating in a Commission of Inquiry after there objection to the fact that there is a conflict of interest had been rejected.  The conflict arises as the officers of the commission were also officers of the Attorney General’s office and the AG’s office is currently making a court appeal to have Teoh’s death declared a suicide.  How can officers of an organisation which is pursuing a particular judgment be also the impartial officers of a supposedly “independent” commission of inquiry?  It is just the latest of a series of things that Teoh’s family has had to suffer.  Meanwhile, there has been a rash of  deaths of young people taking part in National Service Camps.  In each case, the deaths were reported as sudden and mysterious onset of illnesses.  I think it warrants an “independent inquiry” but I don’t have much faith in that either.  This morning, I read that an “anti-establishment” student political group had all 33 of their student council delegates (both those who won and those who lost in recent student council elections) disqualified immediately after the election.  This was based on one un-investigated complaint.    After, student protests, the decision was rescinded.  But instead of taking the University officials to task for trying to tamper with an election and for breach of protocol and procedure, the authorities are trying to appear magnanimous by saying that they do not intend to “punish their naughty children”, i.e. the students, for their protests.   Well, now that I think about it, this sort of news in Malaysia  isn’t unique to  2011.  No, it’s same ol’, same old.  It’s tiring and life sapping though.

But, the latest earth-shaking  incident (literally), was the earthquake that struck Christchurch, New Zealand and the surrounding area at around 1 pm on Tuesday 22nd February.   My condolences to the people of Christchurch and New Zealand.  Every loss of life is a tragedy and there have been many lives lost in this incident.  With the rest of the world, I await news of the rescue operations going on and celebrate with each news of someone pulled out alive.  For many, their lives will have forever changed by injury or by loss of loved ones.  I am glad to report that Marja of Dutchcorner is well as is her immediate family.

For now, the most important thing is still the on-going search for survivors but after that will come the task of cleaning and re-building.  It will be a long and difficult task.  I have heard that some survivors are experiencing severe mental stress especially as strong aftershocks are still occurring regularly but the trauma may extend deeper than that.  Christchurch  has always been a charming and small close-knit community.  If I were to volunteer a couple of words of description, I would say “tranquil” and “safe”.  Now something big and ugly has appeared to shatter that cocoon of safety and tranquility and the scars of fallen and damaged buildings will be around for a long time to remind them of this threat and vulnerability.

Still, New Zealanders are definitely tough and resolute people and I am sure that they will rise from this despite the difficulties.  I had wanted for a long time to post on New Zealand and Christchurch which I had visited twice before, but I had procrastinated.   Here below is a picture of Christchurch which typically exemplifies the safety and tranquility of the city.  Here is a salute to a wonderful city and an inspiration to rebuild and to regain what has been damaged.

Oh, and the year so far?  It sucks.

 

Peace and Tranquility (photo by LGS)

 

Legally Blonde


Aaron Razak's Table
Aaron Razak’s Table (Photo credit: sarrazak6881)

About 14 months ago, I posted a three part post entitled “Dark Eclipse of the Paper Moon“.  The first part entitled “Paper Moon” discussed the conspiracy theory that the Apollo moon landings were faked.  The second, “Eclipse”, was about the partial eclipse of the sun in Malaysia that was washed out by heavy rain.  And finally the third part, “The Dark”, was about the sad case of Teoh Beng Hock.  Now, more than a year later, some strange and noteworthy developments have occurred in the investigation into Teoh’s death.

On the 15th of July 2009, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission raided the offices of Members of the State Assembly in Selangor who happen to belong to opposition parties to the Federal Government to investigate alledged misuse of constituency funds. Somehow, the political secretary to one of the State Assemblymen, Teoh Beng Hock, was asked to accompany the officers back to their office to help in their investigations.

It was important to note that Teoh was said to have gone voluntarily and he was a witness and not a suspect. Yet the next day, the 30 year old was found dead on the 5th Floor of the Commissions offices, apparently having plummeted to his death from the 14th Floor. Although, it is known that he was still being interrogated even at 3 am., MACC officers claim to have lost touch with his whereabouts after that.

To ward off suggestions that MACC were responsible as he was under their responsibility or authority at the time, a proposed explanation for the tragedy  is that Teoh, (who was due to marry his pregnant girlfriend on the very next day) was depressed and committed suicide.

An inquest is on-going in which forensic pathologists argue about whether Teoh’s injuries were entirely from his fall or if he was assaulted first.  The MACC lawyer is advocating that it was a suicide whereas famed forensic pathologist from Thailand, Dr. Pornthip Rojanasunand, has testified that there were injuries on Teoh which were inconsistent with suicide and that there was evidence that he was already unconscious when he fell to his death.

Dr. Pornthip – Thailand’s foremost forensic specialist.

This set the stage for some of the most bizarre legal questioning ever from the MACC lawyer, Mr. Abdul Razak Musa.  Here are some highlights;

Highlight 1: Razak first attacked Pornthip on her qualifications, saying that the MACC’s expert witness, Peter Vanezis, was “far more qualified” than her…as he had “graduated from Bristol University”.  He added that Mahidol University, where she had graduated from, was not recognised in Malaysia.

Dr. Pornthip replied that Mahidol University is one of the top 5 Universities in Asia. (in fact, according to this site, Mahidol University is in the list of top 50 Universities in Asia where as no Malaysian University made the list).

Highlight 2. When Dr. Pornthip testified that in her opinion that Teoh did not commit suicide, Razak suggested that Teoh was depressed and had strangled himself (and then apparently thrown himself out the window).  When challenged by another lawyer that no one could strangle themselves, Razak obligingly throttled himself to demonstrate how it could be done.

Highlight 3: Razak said “From Level 14 – 99 feet above ground – he was unconscious, so his body would be heavier.”  (Huh??  We are lighter when we are conscious and we put on weight when we are unconscious? What the…?).  Dr. Pornthip replied that there would be no difference in weight.

Highlight 4: In response to Dr. Pornthip’s testimony that the body was found further from the building than was typical of a suicide, Razak asked if Dr. Pornthip had any experience jumping off buildings.

Highlight 5: Razak wanted to know how Dr. Pornthip could claim that Teoh was dead when he fell from the 14th floor but was alive when he hit the landing on the 5th floor.  (Wow, it’s a miracle!)

Dr. Pornthip clarified that she never said that Teoh was dead at the beginning of his fall.  Razak seemed confused and so the coroner stepped in to explain that the issue was whether Teoh was conscious or unconscious when he fell and not whether he was alive or dead.

Highlight 6: Exasperated, Dr Pornthip responded to Razak, “I am questioning whether you are a lawyer.”  To which Razak is said to have replied, “Although I am younger than you, I have many years experience as a lawyer.”

If you want more laughs, here are some additional lawyer quotes but at the end, shed a tear for Teoh and justice.

  • Lawyer: “Now, Mrs. Johnson, how was your first marriage terminated?”
  • Witness: “By death.”
  • Lawyer: “And by whose death was it terminated?”
  • Lawyer: “Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?”
  • Witness: “No.”
  • Lawyer: “Did you check for blood pressure?”
  • Witness: “No.”
  • Lawyer: “Did you check for breathing?”
  • Witness: “No.”
  • Lawyer: “So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?”
  • Witness: “No.”
  • Lawyer: “How can you be so sure, Doctor?”
  • Witness: “Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.”
  • Lawyer: “But could the patient have still been alive nevertheless?”
  • Witness: “Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law somewhere.”
  • Lawyer: “What happened then?”
  • Witness: “He told me, he says, ‘I have to kill you because you can identify me.'”
  • Lawyer: “Did he kill you?”
  • Witness: “No.”
  • Lawyer: “How long have you been a French Canadian?”
  • Lawyer: “Do you know how far pregnant you are now?”
  • Witness: “I’ll be three months on November 8.”
  • Lawyer: “Apparently, then, the date of conception was August 8?”
  • Witness: “Yes.”
  • Lawyer: “What were you doing at that time?”
  • Lawyer: “And what did he do then?”
  • Witness: “He came home, and next morning he was dead.”
  • Lawyer: “So when he woke up the next morning he was dead?”

Dark Eclipse of the Paper Moon


Disclaimer:- In the last post, I attributed my disappearance as being in the shadow of Jupiter. When I did that, I had no idea that this week would be the Super Mother of All Solar Eclipses. Was it just coincidence? Perhaps, but then again the antenna in my brain that was placed there by visiting Jovian space creatures may have kept me sub-consciously in tune with cosmic happenings. Which ever, I am back, refreshed and raring to blog!

The title of this post is “Dark Eclipse of the Paper Moon”. It really consists of three sub-posts below which are all unrelated and is being told in reverse order.

PAPER MOON.
I know I am a bit late with this post but last Monday was the 40th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission and man’s landing on the moon. Or rather the alledged landing. Yes, folks, this squirrel just loves conspiracy theories and one of my favorites is the theory that the lunar landing was all a hoax staged for propaganda and morale benefits.

As the theory goes, it was the Cold War. Russia won the race to space by sending a cosmonaut into orbit. Communism seemed like it was gaining ground all over the world. President Nixon needed a “victory” to shore up American morale. Also we all know how upright and truthful Nixon was. Some bright spark spin doctor suggests that the USA can win the race to the moon via Hollywood technology.

I know the Mythbusters have done a special on TV and have declared the lunar landing conspiracy theory to be a myth but die hards like me …….well, die hard.


The above picture shows a fully lit astronaut descending the stairs in the dark shadow cast by the lunar module (see dark shadow on ground). Bear in mind the only light source is the sun. How is it that the astronaut so brightly lit? Mythbusters claim it is from reflected light from the surrounding surfaces. I find it hard to believe. Flat surfaces reflect light at an angle away from the incident light. It should not light up someone on the darkside of an object.



The above photos show another problematic aspect of the evidence of the lunar landing. The cameras used had crosshairs etched onto the lens as reference points. This will result in clearly visible crosshairs on every photograph and the crosshairs can only be always in front of any images recorded. Yet, if you look at the label “L”, you will see that the crosshair is behind the equipment. There are quite a few of these examples.

The real cute thing is that Hollywood then makes a movie about a fake Mars landing called Capricorn One. Take the truth of a fake lunar landing and make it look like a piece of fiction. It’s like hiding a hoax in plain sight.

Enuff said. Let me know what you think.

ECLIPSE
The grand celestial show on Wednesday turned out to be a bit of a wash-out in most places as the sky was full of clouds. In Malaysia, we had a solid bank of low clouds so we could not even see the 20% eclipse we were expecting.

It is interesting to note that in many parts of Asia, the eclipse of the sun is still viewed with superstition and many will not look at it out of fear. Pregnant Indian women are being told not to go out but to stay in bed for the duration. Of course, these people are probably wiser than those who continue to ignore advice and look directly at the sun without proper shielding. With the eclipse traveling across such wide areas of dense populations, statistically, there must be quite a number of newly blind idiots.

I have experienced a partial eclipse before and it was strange to see the shadows and the reduced light. I too would have freaked out if I hadn’t been taught about it in school. It can be very awesome and intimidating.

However, this time round, it was mostly just rainy.

THE DARK
Malaysia suffered a different sort of darkness. It was not the eclipse of the sun but it may turn out to be an eclipse of justice. It certainly brought a lot of darkness into the lives of one family in particular and the nation as a whole.

On the 15th of July, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission raided the offices of Members of the State Assembly in Selangor who happen to belong to opposition parties to the Federal Government to investigate alledged misuse of constituency funds. Somehow, the political secretary to one of the State Assemblymen, Teoh Beng Hock, was asked to accompany the officers back to their office to help in their investigations.

It was important to note that Teoh was said to have gone voluntarily and he was a witness and not a suspect. Yet the next day, the 30 year old was found dead on the 5th Floor of the Commissions offices, apparently having plummeted to his death from the 14th Floor. Although, it is known that he was still being interrogated even at 3 am., MACC officers claim to have lost touch with his whereabouts after that.

Teoh was due to marry his pregnant girlfriend on the very next day. Instead, she mourns him at her funeral. How could this young, idealistic public servant who was not even a suspect but voluntarily helping in investigations, ended up tragically killed while at the Commission’s Offices?

We hope that there will be no cover up and justice will be done. Then at least this pall of darkness can be lifted just a little.

Teoh’s girlfriend and his unborn child face a future without him.

I think it is time to get out from the shadows.