Articles, Opinions & Views: Teoh Beng Hock's family will never get the justice Malaysians need - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy

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“When you're left wounded on

Afganistan's plains and

the women come out to cut up what remains,

Just roll to your rifle

and blow out your brains,

And go to your God like a soldier”

“We are not retreating. We are advancing in another direction.”

“It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it.”

“Old soldiers never die; they just fade away.

“The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace,

for he must suffer and be the deepest wounds and scars of war.”

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“The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.

“Nobody ever defended anything successfully, there is only attack and attack and attack some more.

“Fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of man."
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Rather we should thank God that such men lived.

The Soldier stood and faced God

Which must always come to pass

He hoped his shoes were shining

Just as bright as his brass

"Step forward you Soldier,

How shall I deal with you?

Have you always turned the other cheek?

To My Church have you been true?"

"No, Lord, I guess I ain't

Because those of us who carry guns

Can't always be a saint."

I've had to work on Sundays

And at times my talk was tough,

And sometimes I've been violent,

Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny

That wasn't mine to keep.

Though I worked a lot of overtime

When the bills got just too steep,

The Soldier squared his shoulders and said

And I never passed a cry for help

Though at times I shook with fear,

And sometimes, God forgive me,

I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place

Among the people here.

They never wanted me around

Except to calm their fears.

If you've a place for me here,

Lord, It needn't be so grand,

I never expected or had too much,

But if you don't, I'll understand."

There was silence all around the throne

Where the saints had often trod

As the Soldier waited quietly,

For the judgment of his God.

"Step forward now, you Soldier,

You've borne your burden well.

Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,

You've done your time in Hell."

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Teoh Beng Hock's family will never get the justice Malaysians need - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Thursday, July 23, 2020
Malaysiakini : "If you get back the power next time, please don’t forget Teoh's family, who have been waiting for 11 years."- Teoh Lee Lan, sister of Teoh Beng Hock
COMMENT | Anyone who reads my columns understands that financial corruption, especially when it comes to politicians, holds very little interest for me. This is because a country can recover from a kleptocracy, but it rarely does from a theocracy. In numerous articles, I have attempted to hammer the point that religious extremism is the existential threat facing this country. In Malaysia’s case, it is worse because race and religion are not mutually exclusive.
Nearly every issue in this country is turned into a racial issue, which then morphs into a religious issue. One such example is the murder of Teoh Beng Hock, which I have been obsessed with over the past decade. Like the horrors of mass graves at Wang Kelian, Beng Hock's case exposes the underbelly of political power in Malaysia in a way that should shock most of its citizens, but instead, it just becomes a talking point for politicians.
The propagandising of Beng Hock's death and that of someone like firefighter Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim is similar, in the sense that both are essentially racial narratives and show how the state favours one over the other. When people say that Adib is a hero for all Malaysians, the question becomes: are all Malaysians equal in this country? Heroes transcend the banalities of race and politics - the truly great ones anyway - so let's not play this game. In other words, you will not see the state turning Beng Hock into a martyr for obvious reasons.
Indeed the death of a young Chinese man is consigned to communal politics instead of a national narrative because the people who gain political mileage from this tragic event have neither the political acumen nor political will to frame this as a national dialogue. At the height of the media coverage of the death of Beng Hock, then New Straits Times group managing editor Zainul Ariffin Isa, as reported by The Edge Markets, wrote an op-ed piece in Berita Harian.
In his piece, he suggested that there was "an agenda to discredit government institutions like the judiciary, police, and MACC". The institutions, he had to highlight, were staffed predominantly by Malays. Zainul also alleged that some Selangor Pakatan Rakyat politicians at the time had attributed some investigations into them as being racially motivated. He also asked why the Selangor MB, who was also a Malay, doubted the ability of his own people to act fairly.
When DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng (below) attempted to shift the blame for the failure to get justice for the family of Teoh Beng Hock to current Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, this is just another example of how totally ineffectual Pakatan Harapan political operatives were in solving long-standing issues which are important for a certain section of their supporters.
The fact of the matter is that Harapan - specifically its non-Malay political operatives - is to blame for the inaction of the state when it comes to discovering the truth behind the murder of Teoh Beng Hock. How dare Guan Eng peddle the nonsense that it was “agreed” by the cabinet to reopen the investigation but the then home minister, Muhyiddin, was not interested in pursuing the case.
Indeed, linking the inaction on Teoh's death to the then Harapan government with the political manoeuvrings of the Sheraton Move is deceitful in the extreme. The fact is, Guan Eng has no problem writing to the then attorney-general (AG) about unfreezing the assets of a plutocrat but he dragged his feet on pressuring his cabinet on the Beng Hock case.
He couldn't go beyond having cosy breakfast chats with a "friend" who backstabbed Harapan and holding press conferences where he assured everyone that a timeline was being set to finally get justice for Beng Hock. Forget about the whole “reclassification” of the case under then AG Tommy Thomas (below), which resulted in a flurry of correspondence between Beng Hock’s family lawyers and the AG's Chambers.
The only thing you need to know is that the then AG was correct in his statements that the reclassification did not mean that the evidence-gathering process had stopped or that investigation into the death was discontinued. The reality is that it was up to the political apparatus to ensure that justice, through proper, legal and administrative means, was finally delivered to Malaysians through Beng Hock's family.
All this blame-shifting is merely a means for political operatives to disavow their actions - or inactions, as is the case when it comes to important issues for their supporters. If Muhyiddin was not doing enough to start investigations, then what were all the other Harapan ministers, whose portfolios were connected to the Home Ministry or the state security apparatus, doing?
Why were the MPs, who claimed that this was an important issue, not pressuring their colleagues in the ministry to finally shine a spotlight on this issue? Keep in mind that the murder of Beng Hock could have been used as a launching pad for reform when it comes to the issue of deaths in custody.
Where were all the high-profile ministers who had no problem lurking around when it came to the memorials for Beng Hock (below), but suddenly found themselves “voiceless” in the New Malaysia that we were promised?
It must be a spit on the face for Beng Hock’s family that the personalities involved in the death and farcical investigation of his murder seeped into the Harapan bureaucracy and were strutting around as if their sins had been washed away.
This, of course, is not unusual. Remember when we thought that M Indira Gandhi's case would finally be resolved with Harapan in power. Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador may have wanted to achieve a “happy ending” for all involved. However, it was the public statements of M Kulasegeran, who had championed the issue before Harapan become the government, which revealed to us how the bureaucracy was working when Harapan was in power.
It was reported: Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran (below) says he can no longer get involved in M Indira Gandhi’s custody case, as he is now a cabinet minister. "However, I am still trying to do things behind the scenes, although I was advised to stay out of the issue since I am no longer Indira’s lawyer. I could have done much more if I was still in practice, but now I have been told to ‘mind my own business’."
Keep in mind what the 95-year-old maverick said when he accused the MACC of selective prosecution and warned them that he would expose their wrongdoings. It says a lot about Harapan when the person who led the government can now threaten to expose the alleged malfeasance of the MACC if they continue harassing his political operatives and totally ignore the fact that Mahathir supposedly has “evidence” of wrongdoing, which should be reported to the “relevant” authorities.
Do you think Beng Hock’s family will ever get any justice when the people who advocate for that are eventually told to mind their own business or shift the blame for their failings?
The tragedy is that Beng Hock is a martyr for a stillborn New Malaysia.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 2:59 PM  
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