Mechanical engineer may be called to assist in Adib inquest

Kuala Lumpur Hospital’s forensic specialist Dr Ahmad Hafizam Hasmi.

SHAH ALAM: An independent mechanical engineer is expected to be called in the inquest into the death of fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim amid a dispute over how the second law of Isaac Newton’s theory of motion is applied.

However, coroner Rofiah Mohamad said the mechanical engineer does not necessarily have to give a sworn testimony from the stand, but through a statement where the witness provides answers to the questions the court has over the formula.

Rofiah said she was opened to the parties to propose names for the mechanical engineer, stating that the role of the engineer will be to provide answers from merely a mathematical and physics standpoint.

“He may not have to take the stand. We can also do it in the form of a written statement. We come up with the questions and he comes up with the answers,” she said.

There have been conflicting views by both former forensic specialist Dr Shahrom Abd Wahid and Kuala Lumpur Hospital’s (HKL) Dr Ahmad Hafizam Hasmi over the calculations on the force of impact of the Emergency Medical Rescue Services (EMRS) van in causing Adib’s broken ribs.

The issue surrounding the calculation of the force of the impact on Adib took centre stage in today’s proceedings, where Hafizam explained why he had not factored in the force of the Fire Rescue Tender (FRT) in causing Adib’s broken back ribs.

He said that based on his calculations, the force from the EMRS van itself was strong enough to cause the broken ribs.

“When I was testifying on the formula (yesterday), I had also informed the court that I am not a physics expert, and pointed to the need for an independent physics expert to verify the calculation.

“It is not my intent to confuse the court,” he told the court today.

Hafizam explained that a moving FRT had force and that when it hit the van, the force was then transferred from the FRT to the van, which then hit Adib.

Over the course of the inquest, Hafizam has asserted that the calculations by Shahrom were wrong, as it had only factored in Adib’s weight, without including the weight and speed of the moving EMRS van.

To a question by conducting officer Faten Hadni Khairuddin on why the weight of the vehicle was important, Hafizam said this was because there was impact.

“With the impact (from the van), the force was transferred to the victim. This is why it needs to be considered.

“You cannot just factor in the issue of Adib falling down. As a matter of fact, he did not fall down on his own but as a result of the impact.

“It’s not a question of whether the weight of the vehicle should be used in the calculation. It is a must,” he said.

Lawyer Syazlin Mansor, representing the housing and local government ministry, the Fire Department and Adib’s family members, questioned Hafizam on why he persisted in disputing Shahrom’s calculation on the force of impact.

She also accused him of misleading the court with his calculations.

This prompted Hafizam to defend himself, saying he was merely trying to assist the court.

“I am a civil servant. I do not deserve to be shamed like this in court. I only wish to help the court,” he said.

Syazlin then said it was not her intention to shame Hafizam and urged him not to take it personally.

“When I show you your mistake, I don’t intend to shame you. I am just saying you are confusing the court,” she said, adding that she was not asking the doctor to fix the formula.

Hafizam reiterated that it was never his intent to confuse the court. He said that after Syazlin had highlighted possible errors in his calculations yesterday, he took it upon himself to correct the figures and present them in the inquest.

“We are in an inquest, not a trial. After going home yesterday, I was supposed to have rested. But I did something that would assist the court.

“I have already said, I am no physics expert. I do not deserve to be shamed like that,” he added.

On the need to call for a third and independent forensic pathologist in the inquest, Rofiah said she is reserving her decision on that.

She then fixed May 27 and 28 for the resumption of the inquest, where Shahrom, a retired pathologist from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Hospital, is expected to take the stand.

This follows an earlier oral application by Syazlin for Shahrom to be recalled, which was not objected to by Faten.

Adib, a member of the Subang Jaya Fire and Rescue Department’s EMRS unit, was seriously injured during a riot at the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in USJ 25 on Nov 27 last year.

He died on Dec 17 at the National Heart Institute.