PETALING JAYA, July 29 — Kampung Tunku assemblyman Lau Weng San wants Utusan Malaysia to apologise over an article that appeared to suggest political aide Teoh Beng Hock, whose suspicious death has sparked public outrage, was aware of alleged misappropriation of funds by Selangor executive councillors.
In the article “Selangor Oh Selangor 2: Apa ada dalam notebook Beng Hock” ( Selangor Oh Selangor 2: What was in Beng Hock’s notebook), the unnamed writer speculated that Teoh was nervous when his computer notebook was accessed by the interrogators.
“It was understood that Beng Hock was a bookworm and a soft-spoken young man. He started getting nervous when his notebook was open at around 1am. It was not sure what was in the computer but it caused him to become very agitated. But what was certain was that the contents in the notebook were very important for the investigation,” the newspaper reported.
Lau told reporters that the article was highly speculative and misleading because it suggested that Teoh was guilty of a crime.
“I think they should withdraw the statement and offer an apology to the family of the late Teoh Beng Hock because it has implied that Beng Hock is guilty of something. I think the police should investigate whether the article is true or not. If it is not true then Utusan should take responsibility,” he said.
He also wants the writer of the newspaper lodge a report to help with the investigation into Teoh's death if he has exclusive information which could help the police.
Lau today lodged a police report here and confirmed that more reports against Utusan would be lodged soon in relation to other articles.
“There will be more reports made against Utusan Malaysia, not only on this article but also other articles with racist remarks. I think Utusan has been notorious in this issue and therefore I think it is time for us to continue to press them to be more ethically responsible,” he added.
Teoh, the political aide to Selangor executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah, was found dead on July 16 outside the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) office in Shah Alam. The 30-year-old was earlier interrogated as part of MACC’s investigation into the alleged misuse of state allocations by Selangor assemblymen.
Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders have accused the MACC of being a political tool of the Barisan Nasional (BN) and Umno in the ruling coalition's attempt at toppling the Selangor state government.
The Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia and other newspapers controlled by the party have also been accused of publishing stories with a racial slant or which suggest guilt on the part of PR leaders.