Another Death at MACC! Civil Society Organizations demand Immediate Investigation and Justice!

We, the undersigned civil society organizations, are appalled by the news of another death at the MACC (Malaysia Anti Corruption Commission) Office that reportedly occurred today around 10.15am. The deceased, believed to be Ahmad Sarbani Mohamed (56) an assistant director of the Selangor Customs Department had been released on bail two days ago, but was found dead on the third floor of MACC building at Jalan Cochrane, Kuala Lumpur.

To the best of our knowledge, this is the second time a fellow citizen has died whilst under the custody of the MACC. The fact that this comes not long after the death of Teoh Beng Hock in July 2009, is a real cause for concern for all right thinking people of this nation.

This incident has again raised questions on the integrity and accountability of the MACC. Public confidence in the credibility and professionalism of the MACC has been shattered!

We are extremely saddened that the institutions of State that are supposed to protect and advance the public interest have apparently abandoned the principles of democratic governance. Not only have human freedom and dignity been degraded, lives have been unnecessarily lost.

We demand that the government, as a matter of utmost urgency, undertakes the following measures:

(1) The establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry {RCI} immediately, to independently and thoroughly investigate the said incident.  The terms of reference of the proposed RCI must include investigation into the key role of the present command and power structure of MACC in this tragic incident. Half the members of the RCI should be nominated by civil society organisations to ensure credibility.

(2) The MACC national director Mohamad Khalid Yusuf, the Selangor Director and all officers involved in the investigation of the case should be immediately suspended, until the completion of the Royal Commission’s work, to ensure justice is served and there is no cover-up of evidence or any obstruction to the investigation process.

(3)  Immediately implement the recommendations by the Parliamentary Select Committee on The Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code to enact a Coroner’s Act in Malaysia and to establish a Coroner’s Court to investigate all cases of sudden deaths in custody.