Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has denied DAP lawmaker Ramkarpal Singh's allegation that he failed to instruct the police to reopen investigations into Teoh Beng Hock's death.
The Bersatu president described the Bukit Gelugor MP's remarks as “careless and false”.
“As a government MP, he should be more careful when making statements, especially concerning members of the government administration.
“I deeply regret the statement (by Ramkarpal),” he added in a statement this afternoon.
Ramkarpal made the allegation yesterday, warning that failure to instruct the police to reopen investigations into Teoh’s death had raised suspicions of a cover-up.
The Bukit Gelugor said Muhyiddin and his ministry had been silent despite being informed in October last year that the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) had instructed police to reopen the case as far back as July.
He also dismissed Muhyiddin’s assertion that the police were still waiting for the AGC’s orders to reopen the investigation.
"It is shocking that Muhyiddin said this [...] when the attorney-general had already instructed the IGP to reopen the investigations on July 17, 2018, by way of its letter dated the same to the IGP," he said yesterday.
However, Muhyiddin pointed out that he had not been sitting idly on the matter.
He said he had raised the matter during his ministry’s post-cabinet meeting on June 27, 2018 saying that the cabinet had instructed for the case to be reopened.
He said he has directed the inspector-general of police to take immediate action on the cabinet's decision.
Following his instructions and the AGC’s letter, he said the police had set up a special taskforce led by the Bukit Aman CID secretariat principal assistant director K Manoharan to re-investigate the case. The team had submitted its investigation papers to the AGC for further action on Oct 18, 2018.
When he was quoted in the media in October last year as saying that the police were awaiting further instructions from the AGC, Muhyiddin said he was referring to those investigation papers.
“The attorney-general has given certain instructions to the special taskforce on Dec 17, 2018, and the investigation is still ongoing,” he said.
Teoh was the political aide to Seri Kembangan assemblyperson Ean Yong Hian Wah who was found dead in 2009 after falling nine floors from the former Selangor MACC headquarters in Shah Alam where he had been held overnight for questioning.
A Royal Commission of Inquiry had found in 2011 that Teoh committed suicide due to aggressive interrogation tactic by three MACC officers.
In 2014, the Court of Appeal found that Teoh had died from a fall that could have been accelerated by unlawful actions of persons unknown, including by MACC officers. This overturned a previous finding by the Coroner’s Court.
Following the verdict, MACC agreed to pay RM600,000 to Teoh's family to settle a negligence suit they brought against the commission.
The court also ordered the police to investigate the death.
However, the AGC at the time found no criminal elements in his death, and there have been no criminal charges over Teoh’s death to date.