Murugiah seeks apology from police over mortuary incident

(The Star) – Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Senator T. Murugiah will seek an apo­logy from police for insinuating that he was part of the group that barged into a hospital mortuary to check on the body of a suspected car thief.

Murugiah said he would send a letter to Minister in Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Bernard Dompok explaining what transpired and that Selangor police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar should apologise to him.

He said he would also contact his lawyers to see if there were enough grounds for him to file a suit against Khalid.

He said DCP Khalid’s statement to the press – that police would record statements from him and Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk S.K. Devamany over the incident at the mortuary – had many people thinking that he was also involved.

He said he arrived about an hour after the small crowd had entered the coldroom where the body of A. Kugan was kept, while Devamany arrived 15 minutes later, adding that their role was to calm the group so no untoward incident took place,

“I am upset with the wrong picture that people got following the police chief’s statement.

“Even my mother called me to find out what happened because she thought I was going to be arrested,” he told reporters after attending a Ponggal celebration organised by the Putrajaya-Cyber­jaya Malindian Asso­ciation.

Last Tuesday night, 50 people comprising family and friends of Kugan, 23, who died in police custody, barged into the mortuary.

DCP Khalid had said that police would record both the deputy ministers’ statements and also of those present at the scene because Kugan’s remains had allegedly been tampered with.

Murugiah said his presence at the hospital that night was to talk to Kugan’s family, friends, hospital staff and police to settle the matter amicably.

He said he would also speak to Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail to request that no action be taken against Kugan’s family over the incident as they had reacted out of grief when they were not allowed to see his body.

Murugiah said that he would seek a dialogue with the Prime Minister to outline the actual role of the Public Complaints Bureau that he oversees.