KUALA LUMPUR, July 20 — With the public baying for blood over the mysterious death of political secretary Teoh Beng Hock, talk has been rife that the national anti-graft body's top advisers might quit or demand changes to interrogation procedures.
Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam, who heads one of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission's (MACC) five advisory panels, confirmed today that several of his fellow advisers have indicated they may quit their appointed posts to protest the methods in which witnesses are questioned for information.
While he said none have openly declared they would step down for certain, the chief of the Panel on Consultation and Prevention of Corruption seemed to feel the rising heat and pressure from the public.
“Speaking for myself, I want to carry on,” Navaratnam told The Malaysian Insider when asked if he would step down in protest.
“No point in resigning. That's the easy way out. We've got a public trust to fulfil,” the former civil servant explained, stressing that the challenge was in taking accountability for something he had committed himself to.
Navaratnam said he fully backs the setting up of a Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate the MACC, which is suspected to have had a hand in the death of Teoh.
The 30-year-old had been questioned for over eight hours straight by an MACC officer on a case of alleged fraud over state funds involving his boss, Selangor exco member Ean Yong Hian Wah.
The MACC said it released him at 3.45am on the day he was to get married. His body was found sprawled on the rooftop of the block beside the MACC's headquarters in Shah Alam at 1.30pm later that same day.
Navaratnam pointed out he was the first among the 42 people who were appointed early this year to oversee the fledgling MACC to publicly condemn the manner in which the officers carried out their job.
Six months ago when it was launched, the MACC enjoyed the full weight of public approval behind it as it took over the anti-graft fight from disgraced predecessor, the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA), although the personnel remained the same.
Today, the supposed giant of reform is reeling from the full weight of the public's fury.