KUALA LUMPUR: An inquest will be held to determine the cause of death for the firefighter who died after being seriously injured during riots at a Hindu temple in Selangor last month, said Malaysian home minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
In a Facebook post on Thursday (Dec 27), the minister said that Attorney-General Tommy Thomas, in his capacity as the Public Prosecutor, will direct a magistrate to conduct the inquiry under Section 339(1) of the Criminal Procedure Code.
“The Office of the Public Prosecutor will apply to the courts to set the date for the hearing as soon as possible and will assist the magistrate in conducting the inquest,” said Muhyiddin.
Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim, 24, of the Subang Jaya Fire Rescue Station, was severely injured when he arrived in the vicinity of the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in Subang Jaya early on Nov 27.
He was deployed to put out a car fire during riots that erupted apparently over the relocation of the house of worship.
Some people have claimed that he was injured in a vehicle accident while others allege that he was assaulted by rioters.
The fireman succumbed to his injuries on Dec 17.
Last Friday, simultaneous rallies were held in Putrajaya and Penang in a show of solidarity for Muhammad Adib.
Those at the rallies called for Minister of National Unity and Social Well-being Waytha Moorthy to be sacked. Moorthy has been under intense pressure, as he was among a group of ministers who publicly blamed the police for failing to keep order.
On Wednesday, deputy health minister Lee Boon Chye said the final report on the cause of death would only be ready next month. The report is pending the outcome of a blood test, he added.
The home minister added on Thursday that the magistrate conducting the inquest will have wide powers under Section 328 of the Criminal Procedure Code to determine the cause of death.
The section states that “the words cause of death include not only the apparent cause of death as ascertainable by inspection or post-mortem examination of the body of the deceased, but also all matters necessary to enable an opinion to be formed as to the manner in which the deceased came by his death and as to whether his death resulted in any way from, or was accelerated by, any unlawful act or omission on the part of any other person”.