THE JOURNAL consists of selected, most notable and newsworthy POSTINGS OF THE DAY.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

> Kugan's case goes on ...


The family of dead police detainee A Kugan today lodged a complaint with the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) against Serdang Hospital and pathologist Dr Abdul Karim Tajudin for possible misconduct.

Kugan's mother, M Indra submitted the report to the MMC earlier today, calling for an independent investigation to take place immediately to uncover the reasons behind the significant differences in the two post-mortems which were conducted on her son.

According to family lawyer N Surendran, the 22 year-old deceased's family wants the MMC to investigate if the Serdang Hospital was trying to conceal the truth and cover up Kugan's death.

Abdul Karim of Serdang Hospital who performed the first post-mortem, attributed Kugan's death to water in the lungs. However, Kugan's family sought an independent post mortem after they suspected something amiss.

The second report conducted by Dr Prashant N Samberkar of Universiti Malaya Medical Centre revealed that Kugan died of kidney failure due to a severe beating.

Indra's complaint was accepted by MMC legal adviser C Perumal. He, however, refused to comment on the issue.

Surendran also today questioned the rationale behind the health ministry's setting up of a six-member independent ‘secret committee' to probe the circumstances surrounding the two autopsy reports.

"How is the public going to have confidence in the health minister when the identities of members of the committee are kept secret? Is this another attempt by the ministry to repair the damage?" he asked.

Surendran also questioned the professionalism of Health Ministry director-general Mohd Ismail Merican who had claimed that the first post-mortem was conducted professionally.

Health DG taken to task

"We are shocked and disappointed to see the director-general come out and say that the first post-mortem was done properly and that there are inaccuracies in the second post-mortem. Does the DG know what he is talking about?

"After the director-general came out and made such a statement before an investigation was even carried out, we don't see how we can be confident with any probe by the health ministry," he added.

Surendran also expressed his disappointment with the lackadaisical attitude of the police and the Attorney General's Chambers in handling the case.

"Why are the eleven people involved not charged two months after Kugan's death? How long is this going to drag on?" he asked.

Also present at the MMC today were Kugan's grandmother and several family members, Kapar Member of Parliament S Manickavasagam, and Police Watch director S Jayathas.

Kugan had died on Jan 20 at the Taipan police station in Subang Jaya, five days after he was arrested in connection with the theft of luxury cars - Malaysiakini.