KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 23 – Five years after the much publicised sudden death of Teoh Beng Hock, the struggle of the former DAP aide’s ideals continues on through a trust set up under his name. Teoh Beng Hock Trust for Democracy (TBHTD) chairman, national laureate Datuk A. Samad Said, revealed to The Rakyat Post that in order for the trust to assist individuals and their families who suffered the same fate as Teoh and to create an honest democratic climate, the trust was in need of funds.
The trust, set up six months ago, aims to realise Teoh’s dreams. The 30-year-old political secretary to Selangor executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah was found dead on the fifth floor corridor of Plaza Masalam in Shah Alam on July 16, 2009. Teoh had provided statements at the Selangor branch of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), on the14th floor. Later, his body was found sprawled lifeless on a lower floor.
On Sept 5, the Court of Appeal overturned the open verdict — reached at an inquest following the tragedy — in Teoh’s death. The court held that there was ample direct evidence that his death was caused by a person or persons unknown and ruled out that Teoh committed suicide. With the trust having ensured the security and education of Teoh’s child, Samad said the ideals of the former journalist would be spread through discussions, debates and classes by the trust.
“However, in order to do that, we require funds.” Targeting RM1 million, Samad said the trust hoped to obtain monetary resources when it holds a charity dinner on Dec 5 at the Mutiara Complex in Jalan Ipoh. “The money would then be used to get the trust moving and we aim to educate people on basic human rights and to assist individuals who’ve suffered a similar fate as Teoh.” Another charity dinner is also in the pipeline in Penang, scheduled for March next year, Samad said.