This was admitted by Ting Chin Kin, 23, who said that she did not use any professional translation references when cross-examined by Gobind Singh Deo, the lawyer for Teoh's family.
The note, which was tendered as evidence today, was only made known to the family and Selangor government attorneys last month, although it was found by the investigating officer on Oct 7 last year.
The note, which reads like an apology addressed to Teoh's boss and state exco member Ean Yong, was found in Teoh's bag which found at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission's office on level 14 of Plaza Masalam, Shah Alam, where he was interrogated the night before being found dead on the fifth floor landing on July 16.
The note handed to Ting, who has “almost one year's experience” in the field, on Sept 4, reads:
Ean Yong, Dalam keadaan tak menyalin file dalam komputer saya mereka telah ambil komputer. Mereka asyik menyalahkan kamu. Minta maaf. Tidak mengerti tapi pura-pura mengerti, akhirnya menyusahkan kamu.
Saya kata 'mendapat kelulusan YB'. Mereka berdegil menaip menjadi 'mengikut arahan YB'. Saya tak dapat membantu kamu, maaf. Minta maaf. Saya amat penat. Selamat tinggal.
(Ean Yong, Without copying the file in my computer, they have taken the computer. I'm sorry. They are fond of blaming you. Don't understand but pretend to understand, in the end, this has inconvenienced you.
(I said 'obtained the YB's approval' but they insist on typing 'on the YB's instructions'. I can't help you, sorry. I'm sorry. I'm very tired. Goodbye.)
Grilled over interpretation
Gobind grilled Ting on the interpretation of the words zai jian, which she took to mean 'goodbye', asking her to read from two Chinese-English dictionaries which translated the words to 'see you again'.
She admitted that both meanings were inter-exchangeable. She also agreed with Gobind that the word used to mean berdegil (insist) could also mean berkeras (force), which the attorney said suggested that physical force was used.
Under re-examination by MACC lawyer Abdul Razak Musa, however, Ting said she read it to mean berkeras untuk menaip (insist to type).
She also agreed with Razak that the writer made no mention of being physically harmed.
Asked by Malaysiakini if he is satisfied with the intepreter's testimony, Gobind curtly asked, “Are you?”
He added that he will have to take Ting's version to the family appointed interpreter before they can decide whether or not to call the latter to testify.
Speaking to reporters later, Teoh's sister Lee Lan (left in pic) slammed the court for allowing such an inexperienced interpreter to handle a significant piece of evidence.
“If she uses Google Translate to do the interpretation, then why do we need her? It means that any Malaysian can do the work.
“I cannot believe that the Malaysian judiciary has slipped to this level,” she said.
She added that in her opinion the words used to meanmenyusahkan kamu (inconvenience you) should have been interpreted to mean ditujukan pada kamu (meant for you).
Coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas adjourned the inquest until Oct 14.
If "zai jian" means "commit suicide", there will not be many Chinese left on this planet earth, wouldn't it?