Who was Mohan Singh?

By Deborah Loh (The Nut Graph)

PETALING JAYA, 29 June 2009: In life, Mohan Singh a/l Janot Singh worked behind the scenes as an art director for films and television commercials.

In death, he is centre stage in a legal battle between Islamic authorities who claim he died a Muslim, and his family who claims he was Sikh till the end.

Mohan worked on many films, including popular ones like the local horror movie Susuk. He also worked on Hollywood productions that were shot in Malaysia namely, Anna and the King and Entrapment, and Bollywood hit Don.

One of the last films he worked on before his death was Yasmin Ahmad's Talentime.

Mohan, 41, was the only boy in a family of five children, and had three sisters before him — Baldi Kaur, J Belvikohr and Jaswant Kaur. The sisters and their stepfather, Nagamuthu Punnusamy, are the applicants in a judicial review of the Sungai Buloh Hospital's refusal to release Mohan's body to them because of a counter-claim to his body by the Selangor Islamic Council (Mais).

The Shah Alam High Court is currently hearing arguments on jurisdiction as to whether the judicial review should be heard in the civil or syariah court.

"We are a very close-knit family. He's the only boy, younger than all of us, our baby. How can we let go of our baby brother just like that?" said older sister Jaswant.

Anxious to cremate

The sisters, their stepfather, and their aunt who only wanted to be known as Eleena, agreed to talk to The Nut Graph about Mohan after a session at the Shah Alam High Court on 24 June.

The family is anxious to cremate Mohan. Sikh rites demand that the body be cremated within 24 hours of a person's death, and that prayers be said for the deceased's soul after 16 days, said Jaswant.

"It is more than a month already," she said. Mohan died of a heart attack in his Damansara Damai apartment on 25 May 2009. His body was found at 1am on that date.

"We need to cremate him and then scatter his ashes in the river. Then he is really gone for us. Now he is lying in the freezer and we cannot do anything. A part of us is lying there with him and we can't do anything about it," said Baldi.

Read more at: http://www.thenutgraph.com/who-was-mohan-singh