PUTRAJAYA: The Home Ministry wants to put a stop to all speculation on the death of Nigerian PhD student Thomas Orhions Ewansiha until the complete autopsy report is released.
Its minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said neither would any action be permitted until then.
He was commenting on a call by two DAP lawmakers — Batu Kawan MP Kashturi Patto and Jelutong MP R. S. N. Rayer — for an independent inquiry into Ewansiha’s death.
At a press conference yesterday, they said an autopsy report alone was not enough to conclude the matter. “The SOP has to be improved and there’s a need to study the existing SOP itself,” Kashturi and Rayer added.
“The SOP has been there for about six decades. So the system has become complacent,” Kashturi added. She said that if the SOP was not improved soon, Malaysia’s reputation would be affect.
Muhyiddin pointed out that a preliminary report on Ewansiha’s death had been released by Hospital UKM and it showed that there were no signs of violence or torture.
“Until we have the full report from the hospital, we cannot make any further speculation,” he said at a press conference at the Immigration Department yesterday.
Thomas died while in custody after he was caught trying to run away from immigration officers while they were conducting a raid. It is believed he died of seizure while asleep.
Kasthuri also lodged a police report over the matter in order to trigger an investigation into the death of the Nigerian.
Rayer said the police had to investigate the matter since the report had been lodged. “We hope there will be an inquest,” he said.
He noted that this was the first death in custody case under the Pakatan Harapan government.
“If he died because of natural issues, then we can’t hold anyone responsible. But if there’s foul play, the only way to find out is by holding a public inquest, and that needs a police report,” he added.
It was reported that the Nigerian died from a seizure while asleep at the Immigration detention depot in Bukit Jalil on July 9.
On another matter, Muhyiddin also called for preacher Ustaz Wan Ji Wan Hussin to lodge a police report if it was true that he was beaten up in prison.
“He should lodge a police report so that the police can investigate the matter thoroughly and if they find something, the police can take action,” he said.
He also said to his knowledge, there has been no police report lodged so far.