Thursday, April 9, 2009

Dr Ismail Merican, you sir, are a liar.

Dr Ismail Merican, D-G of the Health Ministry, in "evil mamak" mode
Sree Sudheesh | Apr 8, 09 4:27pm

The 10-man committee headed by Malaysian Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican which was formed to investigate the ‘differences in post-mortem reports of A. Kugan’ has concluded that “all body injuries noted on the deceased were insufficient, either individually or collectively to cause death directly.”

Firstly, on what basis did the committee perform their task, considering that the two post-mortem reports were diametrically opposed to each other? It was one report against the other and the body was already buried. And yet without doing another autopsy, how can this committee make a conclusion on the cause of death?

The second autopsy report had concluded that the first report was erroneous and did not state the correct cause of death, but the committee overruled this report in favour of the first. On what basis was this call made? It is an insult to the Malaysian public’s intelligence to have a sham 10-man committee formed just to exonerate the guilty police officers who have senselessly murdered a 22 year old.

I am appalled at Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican’s cheek to state that blunt force trauma could have led to acute renal failure which aggravated acute myocarditis, resulting in acute pulmonary oedema and then in the next sentence claim that death was not ‘directly’ caused by body injuries. Without further examination of the body, the committee overruled the cause of death stated by the second report. Even ignoring this, he essentially says that Kugan was brutally beaten repeatedly to the extent of causing his kidneys to fail which then caused his death and yet claims that the death was not a ‘direct’ result of the injuries.

I ask Dr Ismail Merican this: “You said that blunt force trauma caused acute renal failure. Isn’t this by itself a life threatening situtation? A person with acute renal failure inevitably dies. And according to the doctor who performed the second autopsy, this was indeed what happened. How on earth do you have the guts to stand up and make the claim that death was not caused directly by injuries?”

Are you playing with semantics here? This is a person’s life we are talking about. If kidney failure and pulmonary oedema resulted from the blunt force trauma, does that make the death ‘indirect’ and as a result exonerate the police from the crime of their deed? If one were to cut off a person’s hand and the person dies of bleeding, would we say that he died from lack of blood in his heart and he did not die directly from the injury but an indirect cause? Plainly put, this is clear (pardon my usage of the term) bullshit.

Dr Ismail, it is evident from your semantic play of words and unconvincing overruling of the second postmortem without valid reason that you and your 10-man committee are acting to protect the interests of those who walk in the corridors of power. It is clear that you have no conscience, no soul and no moral principles. By trying to avoid bringing to justice those involved in this murder, you have become an active participant in this crime.

You are clearly acting under fear of those higher up or clearly for personal rewards. By acting in such a cowardly manner, you have lost all moral authority that the Hippocratic oath had bestowed upon the noble profession of a doctor.

Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican, you sir, are a liar.

I challenge the new prime minister Najib Tun Razak to walk the talk and bring transparency and accountability to our public service and bring those involved in this vile crime to justice. If not, this will count as the first failure of your administration, the first nail in the coffin.

Sree Sudheesh

From Malaysiakini: At a press conference held at the Bar Council Legal Aid Centre at the Jalan Duta court complex this afternoon, Kugan’s visibly emotional father G. Ananthan (right) pleaded for the return of the samples.

“If a further post-mortem needs to be conducted, I will personally dig up my son’s corpse. I will lift up my son’s corpse,” he said.

“His killers are still running free. There is no need to find his killers. They are all in the police station. There is enough evidence, all we want now is justice.”

Reuben Sher | Apr 7, 09 4:26pm

In the aftermath of the horrific death of A. Kugan when he was in police custody, Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai reportedly asked the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) to examine the two post-mortem reports on the car theft suspect. He said this in view of a complaint lodged by Kugan’s mother N. Indra with the MMC.

The very next day, almost in knee-jerk fashion, the Health Ministry director-general, over whom the MCA minister has zero control, stated that the Malaysian Medical Council has acted against 13 doctors — including striking the names of two of them off the medical register — for various offences last year.

MMC inquiries go on for ages. Why make a statement regarding their status within 24 hours after Liow’s well-intentioned statement?

The DG either appears to have taken Liow’s request as an affront and published the names of these ‘errant’ doctors for the public to view. Or maybe he just wanted to show Liow who really is the boss.

But Merican coming to the defence of the beleaguered Indonesian pathologist Karim Tajuddin whilst running down University Malaya’s expatriate pathologist Prashant N Samberkar even as the MMC hearing is ongoing is nothing short of disgraceful.
His media statement on the pathological features that caused Kugan’s death is clearly designed to get the government off the hook by trying to hoodwink the very public whom he thinks can be fooled, by rehashing and re-categorising the quantum and extent of the battered boy’s injuries.

He blatantly tries to cover up the cause of death by shifting the primary etiology of trauma as the precipitating factor causing Kugan’s death to underlying acute myocarditis as the predisposing factor that hastened the boy’s eventual renal shutdown and ultimate pulmonary edema (‘water in the lungs’).

The timing of the Kugan statement means that the director-general of health sees it convenient to make use the supposedly independent Malaysian Medical Council of which he is puzzlingly president.

With a health DG more interested in playing politics, is there any wonder why we have a relentless mosquito-borne epidemic with almost half of this country’s population hypertensive and diabetic? Forget about Sabahans in Kota Kinabalu who don’t even have a general hospital anymore.

With this DG’s reckless disregard compounded further by his lack of attention in providing quality healthcare access for the Malaysian public, Merican should perhaps take his mask off and instead do what he really aspires to be… stand as an Umno candidate in the very next by-election.