Orang Asli skeletal remains couldn’t show cause of death, says ministry

Kampung Kuala Koh in Gua Musang, Kelantan, after its ‘red zone’ declaration was lifted today. (Bernama pic.)

KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye today said the autopsy reports on the skeletal remains of 12 Orang Asli from Kampung Kuala Koh in Gua Musang, Kelantan, were not enough to identify their cause of death.

He said his ministry failed to collect enough tissue samples from the remains to continue investigations.

“When there are no other body tissues except facial tissue, it makes it hard to confirm the cause of death,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby.

Lee also denied that there were delays in conducting the autopsies.

He said what was more important was that there seemed to be no criminal element in the deaths of the Orang Asli.

Last week, Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad said the autopsy results could not determine the cause of death of the 12 Orang Asli. The autopsies were carried out on June 17 and 18.

A total of 173 cases of Orang Asli affected by diseases had been reported since June 3 – 147 in Kelantan, 18 in Terengganu and eight in Pahang.

Eighty-two of those cases were confirmed to be measles.