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10 APRIL 2024

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Sugumaran case: Are PM Najib, MIC and cops sincere?

Najib’s decision to intervene is a political stunt, says Gobind.
PETALING JAYA: Opposition leaders have poured scorn on Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s decision to intervene in the case of C Sugumaran, who was allegedly beaten to death last week by policemen and several members of the public.
“This is clearly a political stunt aimed at defusing tensions,” Puchong MP Gobind Singh said in response to a news report saying Najib had instructed the Health Minister to submit a forensic report on Sugumaran’s death.
“If the PM is sincere, he must direct changes to the manner in which the police and government hospitals deal with cases like this.”
Gobind, as well as PKR vice president N Surendran, also questioned the sincerity of Selangor police officials who advised Sugumaran’s relatives to seek a second post mortem if they could find a willing pathologist.
“But the reality is that government hospitals will not agree to a second post mortem unless they are directed by the police,” Gobind said.
“It is obvious that the PM is ill advised.”
Gobind said Najib should instead direct the police to officially consent to second post mortems when people die in police custody.
N Surendran also took a swipe at MIC Youth over its offer to pay for Sugumaran’s second post mortem, saying the issue was the not the cost, but the willingness of the authorities to allow it.
He said the chief pathologist at Kuala Lumpur General Hospital, Dr Muhammad Arif Mohd Hashim, yesterday declined to perform a post mortem on Sugumaran without police permission.
He said Najib, MIC and the police would be all lying if they were to claim ignorance about this procedure.
He urged the Selangor police chief to “stop beating around the bush” and give his written approval for the second post mortem as soon as possible.
“The family is grieving,” he said. “How much longer are you people going to make them wait to perform funeral rites?”

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