Malaysia

Apologise to Beng Hock’s family if you mean it, Loke tells Najib

KUALA LUMPUR, April 1 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak should say sorry to the family of DAP aide Teoh Beng Hock if his mea culpa is sincere, Anthony Loke said yesterday. 

The DAP Youth chief said Najib’s apology for Barisan Nasional’s (BN) past mistakes last month was meaningless as the latter had not specified what he was sorry for. 

“If Najib is truly sincere in apologising, the first people he should apologise to is Teoh Beng Hock’s family,” the Rasah MP (picture) told over 1,500 supporters at a dinner in Bandar Menjalara here. 

Teoh, political aide to Seri Kembangan state assemblyman Ean Yong Hian Wah, fell to his death at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) office in Selangor after being held overnight for questioning. 

A royal commission of inquiry (RCI) into his death return an open verdict, and also highlighted the graftbuster’s harsh interrogation tactics. 

Najib apologised on March 3 for BN’s past mistakes which cost the ruling coalition its customary two-thirds parliamentary majority and four states in Election 2008. 

The apology appeared to be recognition of the significant groundswell against BN ahead of a general election that must be held by April next year. 

“I believe we should not be arrogant. In a parliamentary democracy, we have to subject ourselves to the power of the people. We must have made mistakes for the people to have rejected us. 

“We apologise for our past mistakes. The victors apologise, as do the losers,” he had said in Baling, adding that BN would work hard to rectify its mistakes. 

Opposition leaders were quick to dismiss the prime minister’s apology as a pre-election ploy, pointing out that it was too vague and smacked of insincerity. 

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin later said there was no need for BN to list its transgressions as the ruling coalition’s mistakes were all in the past now.

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