The unprofessional conduct and lack of transparency of the Perak Health Department and Hospital Seri Manjung regarding Soosaimanicckam Joseph’s post-mortem report
7 September 2018
We refer to the controversial and suspicious death of Soosaimanicckam a/l Joseph at the Lumut naval base on 19th May 2018.
Despite repeated request, the Manjung Government Hospital which conducted the autopsy has refused to release the final and conclusive post-mortem report to the family of the deceased.
On the 6th of September, we accompanied Calvin, the brother of the late Soosaimanicckam, to Hospital Seri Manjung, Perak, for a meeting regarding the hospital’s refusal to release the final post-mortem report to the deceased’s family.
However, when we arrived, the hospital refused to allow us to accompany Calvin during the meeting. We were informed that this was an order made by Dr. Noorisah bt. Mahat Noor, Deputy Director of the Perak Health Department. Though she was not in attendance, we were able to contact her and she affirmed that we were not allowed to attend.
The hospital’s refusal to allow us to assist Calvin with his complaint is unacceptable, and the reason behind the refusal is nonsensical. It reeks of hypocrisy as the hospital had 7 people representing it during the meeting, consisting of the Deputy Director of Hospital Seri Manjung, the medical officer that conducted the post-mortem, several doctors from Hospital Seri Manjung as well as a specialist doctor from Ipoh General Hospital. Yet they insisted that Calvin attend the meeting without any legal assistance while the hospital has the benefit of a team of professionals on its side.
In the end, we had no choice but to withdraw from the meeting as it was clearly a farce. The hospital representatives even subsequently refused our request for the full and complete list of the names and position of the people who attended the meeting.
This highly inappropriate behaviour as well as the overall lack of transparency from the hospital is disappointing. If they had nothing to hide, why refuse to release the final post-mortem report?
It has put the bereaved family through further unnecessary hardship and the justice that they deserve is again delayed. We urge the Ministry of Health to look into this improper conduct by the hospital and the Perak Health Department.
Meanwhile, we demand that the final and conclusive post-mortem report be released to the family of deceased immediately.
Zaid Malek & Mahajoth Singh
Lawyers for the family of the late Soosaimanicckam
Lawyers for Liberty