Purely putting up rhetorical argument, Lim failed to put a stronger justification against Public Inquest in which a Coroner's inquest is set for July 29th, 2009.
Lim: No precedence for Royal Commission but it has been doneRCI should not be reduced to undertaking the operational police for it will only result operational chaos and justice is not served. It should be meant for significant issues.
By Pearl Lee
Malay Mail, Monday, July 27th, 2009
DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang conceded yesterday that there is no precedence of a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) in Malaysia investigating the cause of a death.
“But it’s been done in other Commonwealth countries,” he told Malay Mail.
On Friday, Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail said it was only proper for a court of law to deal with Teoh Beng Hock’s cause of death. Which was why, Gani said, the government ordered an inquest to establish the cause of Teoh’s death.
Though Lim agreed that there has not been a precedent in Malaysia for an RCI to investigate the cause of a person’s death, he said it had been done in other countries, including Commonwealth countries. The inquest starts on July 29.
In his blog posting, Lim wrote that there were Commonwealth precedents of public inquiries into extraordinary deaths and cited the 2004 case of the Ipperwash Inquiry that was established by the Government of Ontario under the Public Inquiries Act to inquire and report on events surrounding the death of Dudley George, who was shot in 1995 during a protest by First Nations representatives at Ipperwash Provincial Park.
The inquiry was also mandated to make recommendations to prevent violence in similar circumstances in the future.
Any recommendation made by a RCI should be implemented by the government of the day, failing which it will be considered an act of disrespect to the King, Lim said.
“Whether or not the government of the day honours recommendations made by the RCI should not arise. If it fails to do so it will amount to an act of gross disrespect to the King,” he said.
“The King’s government should not do so. “If it fails to honour (the recommendations), the government should resign in view of the principle of parliamentary democracy.” Lim said this when asked to comment on instances where recommendations made by RCIs were not adhered to.
“Of course there are a lot of problems in RCIs based on previous cases but we must get to the root of the problem,” he said.
Lim said his rationale of having an RCI to investigate not only the interrogation methods employed by the Malaysian Anti Corruption Agency (MACC) during questioning but also the causes of Teoh Beng Hock’s death and the independence, integrity and professionalism of the agency in performing its investigations.
“The independence, integrity as well as professionalism of the MACC should be investigated to ensure it does not act as a catch stone of Umno and Barisan Nasional, which continued to prosecute the opposition,” he said.
Referring to Gani’s statement that Lim said that a court of law should deal with the cause of Teoh’s death, Lim said RCIs should deal with major infractions and institutional wrongs.
“People should not be afraid of RCIs. It is a very common practice in other countries and should be held as long as there is ample reason to ensure that there is accountability, independence and integrity by government agencies,” Lim said.
During his phone interview, Lim dismissed allegations that he had ill advised the family of Teoh to make calls for an RCI to find out Teoh’s cause of death.
By RCI used to investigate Teoh Beng Hock's case, it further lowered it's siginificant into a political battlefield. As it is, there is a section of the public also demanding an RCI for the death of a University student that was left unattended.