Syed Hamid taken to task over slur on 2 deputy ministers

(NST) – Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar came under attack from two junior ministers for his statements on the A. Kugan issue.

Deputy Ministers in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk S.K. Devamany and Senator T. Murugiah took offence to the home minister's statement that the two were involved in the chaos at the Serdang Hospital mortuary on Tuesday night.

Syed Hamid had reportedly said that action would be taken against the two, and others, if proven that they were part of the mob which barged into the mortuary to inspect Kugan's body.

"His statement is not true. He should not speak on the issue without getting the full facts," Devamany said at the MCA Chinese New Year open house at Wisma MCA on Monday.

"He (Syed Hamid) has to speak to the right people, get the right facts and then talk. This is an emotional and sensitive issue."

Devamany clarified that the family and the others who turned up at the mortuary were permitted to view Kugan's body by the hospital authorities.

Murugiah said he had given a detailed explanation to Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

"I went to the deputy prime minister's house on Sunday evening and showed him all the pictures that were sent to me anonymously," Murugiah said.

"I told him what happened and I thanked him for helping the family. He even donated some money to the family.

"Now the family is confident the government will help them obtain justice for Kugan's death."

Murugiah explained he went to the mortuary as he did not want mem-bers of Hindraf to spread false information.

Hindraf is an Indian-based non-governmental organisation which has been banned.

Murugiah also said the report on the second post-mortem on Kugan would be sent to Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail by next week.

He said Kugan's body was scheduled to be released for burial today and would be taken directly from the hospital to the cemetery.

Meanwhile, in a statement released by the MIC on Monday, party president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said they would defend both the deputy ministers if they are charged for the alleged involvement in the mortuary incident.

"We will hire as many lawyers as possible to defend them," Samy Vellu said in the statement.

The MIC president said it did not matter if Murugiah was from the People's Progressive Party.

"They are Indians and the MIC represents the Indian community."