Mum files suit against police, wardens over death of son

jail-courtPETALING JAYA: Factory worker Kamarulnizam Ismail was fined RM800 or two weeks’ jail in the magistrate’s court after he pleaded guilty to committing offences under the Penal Code and the Minor Offences Act three years ago .

His father, Ismail Ahamad, 78, came to the Bukit Mertajam court to settle the fine but Kamarulnizam wanted to serve the jail term as he wanted the money to repair his car.

The son never came back alive. The parents collected Kamarulnizam’s body from the Tapah Hospital mortuary in March 2014.

Last month, the mother, Rahaya Salleh, 67, filed a suit in the Ipoh High Court for assault and negligence against the government.

Lawyer M Visvanathan, who is appearing for Rahaya, said the suit also included a claim for misfeasance in public office against the senior police officers and prison officials.

Twelve indviduals and the government have been named as defendants.

“The deceased, a bachelor, was 39 years old and his parents depended on his income for their maintenance,” Visvanathan told FMT.

He said the deceased, who was employed as a general worker in a sugar refinery factory in Penang, earned RM2,500 per month.

In the statement of claim, Rahaya, a housewife, said the son contributed RM1,300 a month to the couple.

The lawyer said Judicial Commissioner Anselm Fernandis had given the government until May 15 to file its defence.

Federal Counsel Fatin Hanim Abdul Hadi appeared for the government during a case management exercise earlier this week in Ipoh.

In her claim, Rahaya said her son was arrested by police on Feb 22, 2014 together with three others.

She alleged Kamarulnizam was assaulted by three policemen during detention at the Seberang Perai Tengah district police headquarters in Bukit Mertajam.

After the court’s decision, the deceased was sent to Tapah Prison in Perak to serve the jail term on March 3.

Rahaya said on March 7, Dr Chua Cheng Hoi @ Chua Eng Hoi had attended to the deceased and provided medication for diarrhoea but the following morning Kamarulnizam was found unconscious in his cell.

He was rushed to the Tapah district hospital but was pronounced dead about 7.30am on March 8.

Rahaya said three prison wardens were included in the suit as they failed to patrol the cells to ensure the safety and welfare of her son.

“Further, the Prisons Department has been negligent in its failure to attend to Kamarulnizam’s medical needs as there was an in-house clinic and trained staff,” she said.

Rahaya said her son was assaulted as there were injury marks on his body.

She said a post-mortem report revealed her son died of chest infection which was questionable as Kamarulnizam was a healthy person.