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

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

Principally, we do not condone any corruption activities. We support the anti-corruption agency’s effort in fighting graft, but right to life is above all – fighting graft must not be at the expense of a life.

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

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 must be nominated by civil society organisations to ensure credibility.

The Police must buck up and carry out independent and professional investigation against MACC. They must clear their reputation and regain credibility in this incident. The police have failed to neither investigate nor take action on 59 complaints of abuse of power against MACC. Its inaction caused two deaths – Teoh Beng Hock, and now Ahmad Sarbani Mohamed.

The MACC investigations director Datuk Mustafar Ali, and all officers involved in the investigation of the case must 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.

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.

In closing, we would like to express our deepest condolences for the family of Ahmad Sarbani Mohamed. We would like to encourage the family to approach us should they need further support and assistance in the pursuit of justice and upholding their rights.

This statement jointly endorsed by:
1.  Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
2.  Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM)
3.  Malaysians For Beng Hock
4.  528 Media Action Group
5.  AIC (Anwar Ibrahim Club)
6.  Amnesty International Malaysia (AIM)
7.  AWAM
8.  Centre For Independent Journalism (CIJ)
9.  Child Development Initiative (CHILD)
10.  The KL & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall
11.  Community Action Network (CAN)
12.  Community Development Centre (CDC)
13.  Council of Temples Malaysia
14.  DISKOPI collective
15.  Friends of Kota Damansara
16.  Frinjan Community
17.  Hartal MSM
18.  Ikatan Hak Rakyat
19.  Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (JERIT)
20.  Johor Tamizhar Sangam
21.  Klang Consumer Association
22.  Kolektif LimaPulohB
23.  Kumpulan Aktivis Mahasiswa Independen (KAMI)
24.  Lawyers For Liberty (LFL)
25.  LLG Cultural Development Centre
26.  Malaysia Youth and Student’s Democratic Movement (DEMA)
27.  Malaysian Dravidian Association
28.  Malaysian Indian Business Association
29.  Malaysian Indian Development and Unity Association
30.  National institute for democracy and electoral integrity (NIEI)
31.  Nationwide Human Development and Research Centre
32.  Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM)
33.  People Service Organisation (PSO)
34.  Persahabatan Semparuthi
35.  Persatuan kemajuan Pendidikan Malaysia
36.  Persatuan Masyarakat Wilayah Persekutuan dan Selangor (PERMAS)
37.  Persatuan Prihatian Belia Malaysia
38.  Pusat Kesedaran Komuniti, Selangor (EMPOWER)
39.  Pusat Komunikasi Masyarakat (KOMAS)
40.  Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM)
41.  SOS Selangor
42.  WAMI
43.  Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO)
44. Perak Young Graduate Association
46. Gabungan Anak Muda dan Pelajar, GAMP
47.  Student Progressive Front USM
48.  Gerakan Mahasiswa Maju UPM
49.  Student Progressive Front UUM
50.  Student Progressive Front New Era Colledge
51.  Kesatuan Mahasiswa New Era Kolej
52.  New Era College Alumni Association
53.  Sembang-sembang Forum
54.  Monsoons group
55.  Persatuan Prihantin Komuniti Kuala Lumpur & Selangor, PRIHATIN
56.  Gabungan Murid-Murid Sekolah-Sekolah Menengah Persendirian Perak
57.  Ipoh Mini Oasis Library
58.  Persatuan Murid-Murid Tua Sekolah Menengah Shen Jai
59.  Persatuan Alumni Han Chiang Pulau Pinang
60.  Persatuan Bekas Murid-Murid Han Chiang Seberang Perai
61.  Persekutuan Alumni Han Chiang Malaysia
62.  Kong Min School Old Pupils Association
63.  Persatuan Kawan Karib Pulau Pinang
64.  Penang Chinese Independent Schools’ Education Society
65.  Bahagian Pemuda Persatuan Alumni Sekolah Serdang Bharu
66   Youth Section of KL & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall
67.  Youth Section of Negeri Sembilan Chinese Assembly Hall
68.  Persatuan Wui Leng Selangor & K.L (Bahagian Pemuda)
69.  Bahagian Pemuda Persatuan Hokkien WP & Selangor
70.  Persatuan Sahabat Wanita, Selangor (PSWS)
71.  Perak Kwang Tung Association
72.  Council of Churches of Malaysia Youth Network
73.  Youth Section of Malacca Chinese Assembly Hall

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