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Home ministry admits negligence in prison body mix-up

Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail pledges an investigation into the case in which family members preparing funeral rites for their son were informed that he was still alive.

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Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail speaks in the Dewan Rakyat, March 8. Photo: Bernama
Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail speaks in the Dewan Rakyat, March 8. Photo: Bernama

The home ministry yesterday admitted to negligence and systemic weaknesses in the mistaken identity of a prisoner who died at Hospital Sungai Buloh on March 3.

Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said his ministry would set up an inquiry board committee immediately to investigate the matter.

"There can't be any compromise on the aspect of negligence. We will always take steps to improve this identification system," he said when winding up the debate on the Supply Bill 2023 at the policy level in the Dewan Rakyat.

In the incident, a family preparing the funeral rites for their son's body were informed by the Sungai Buloh Prison that their son was still alive.

The family lodged a police report at the Jinjang police station on March 4.

Saifuddin also said that his ministry was ready to pay compensation for the expenses incurred by the family, estimated at RM20,000, within 48 hours.

Meanwhile, on the issue of the exemption given to Umno according to Section 70 of the Societies Act 1966, Saifuddin said the Registrar of Societies (RoS) and ministers are subject to the Societies Act 1966.

He said the law governs the essential duties of the RoS, which are to ensure that any organisation complies with matters in its laws, and protects the interests of its members.

"Section 70 of the act specifically gives the minister the power to make a number of exceptions, and the decision I made was directed to the exception of compliance with Section 13 of the same law," he said.

Saifuddin said if there were any dissatisfied parties which felt that he had exceeded the limits of his authority, they could take the issue to court.

"Before I gave the exemption, I obtained the views of the relevant parties," he said.

Saifuddin previously said that he had granted an exemption to Umno from complying with Section 13(1)(c)(iv) of the Societies Act 1966, for the resolution barring contest for its top two posts in its party election.