“Beng Hock would have weighed more if he was unconscious?” – Abdul Razak Musa, towering Malay, advocate extraordinaire, counsel for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in the ongoing Teoh Beng Hock inquest.
Just how big an embarrassment this man is to the legal profession and the nation at large became apparent when he made it clear that his question narrated above was not posed in jest, but in all seriousness.
In reply, Dr Pornthip just looked at him in absolute bewilderment.
This man had the audacity to suggest to her that because the university in Thailand where she had obtained her formal tertiary education was not recognised by the Malaysian authorities, she might not have the requisite credentials to appear at the inquest as an expert witness.
Which university did he get his law degree from? Is that university recognised in Thailand?
Where, if at all, is it recognised?
Did he get to read law on merit or because of some quota system?
Is he a lawyer today on merit or because some nonsensical policy put in place years back contrived to create a pool of bumiputra professionals, regardless of competence?
Any court lawyer worth his salt knows that the expertise to render an opinion for the assistance of a court of law goes beyond mere paper qualification.
See what Wikipedia has to say of Dr Pornthip.
Perhaps, it is Dr. Pornthip’s response to Razak’s insinuation that she had come to give evidence with a view to attacking MACC, that spotlights the chasm between the examiner and the examined.
“I am here to defend the rights of the dead. Not for the Selangor government or anyone”, was the doctor’s reply.
She was here to help the coroner get at the truth.
Razak was hell-bent on doing otherwise.