Thursday 14 July 2011

Doctors: We'll produce more evidence if challenged

The doctors who witnessed the police attack on Tung Shin Hospital are ready to provide further evidence if the statement they issued yesterday is rebutted by the government.

However, they will not reveal any further details on their account of the incident until their statement is challenged by the authorities, their spokeperson Dr Sheikh Johari Bux said today.

NONE"If that (denial) arises, we will discuss as a group and take the neccesary steps required," said Sheikh Johari, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist.

"If not, we would rather leave the matter at that," he said, adding that they would only respond, if needed, at the "right time" and in the presence of a lawyer.

Sheikh Johari said the information they had was not something "secretive".
It was also not their intention to go against anyone, "for all we want is only to tell the truth", he added.

"What we are asking for is that the people in high office be transparent."

The doctors' statement, issued last night and signed by 11 senior medical officers, condemned the authorities for the attack on Bersih 2.0 rally participants in the hospital compound last Saturday.
The act violated universal recognition of hospitals as places of sanctuary.

NONEIt was the first public statement made by medical officers following denials by the police and Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai that police shot tear gas and water cannons into the hospital compound on July 9.

Besides Sheikh Johari, the other doctors who signed the statement are Musa Nordin, Ng Kwee Boon, Ng Swee Choon, Ronald Mcoy, David Quek, Mary Cardozo, Farouk Musa, Mazeni Alwi, Pixie Low and Steve Wong.

They said some among them were visiting or working at Tung Shin Hospital at the time of the incident, and that they were ready to provide sworn affidavits "if required, as to the veracity of the incident".

Questioned further on the matter today, Sheikh Johari would only say, "If we see a need to give more details, we will send (a statement) to you."

NONEMeanwhile, minister Liow Tiong Lai (seated centre in picture) gave his assurance to the people that the ministry "will look into the matter".

After attending a function in Kuala Lumpur today, Liow told reporters, "We will look into all that, we will definitely (do so). I have said yesterday we would like to investigate the case."

He also said the hospital's management did not tell him about eyewitness to the incident.

"When I went to Tung Shin (hospital) that day, they didn't tell me all this."

He welcomed the doctors for coming forward on the police attack and said that the ministry "would like to have this kind of input".

'Docs may have been demonstrators' 

In a related development, Chong Teck Hong, honorary general secretary of Tung Shin Hospital board, told Malaysiakini that only two out of the 11 doctors who signed the statement are with the hospital.

Chong said he does not know the motive of those behind the statement, but said he assumes some of the doctors had joined the rally and had sought shelter at Tung Shin Hospital.

“I don't know why are they doing this. I'm also not sure whether they were at the scene (during the assault).”
He also reiterated Liow's assertion that police did not shoot water cannon and tear gas at the hospital.
The tear gas canisters only hit the public car park in front of the hospital, which is not within the hospital compound, he said.

The water cannon only reached the buildings and guard house outside of the hospital, he added, "which are still far from the hospital (building)".

He admitted, however, witnessing police personnel entering the hospital building to arrest protestors. 

The action did not disrupt the hospital's operation, said Chong.

"Anybody can enter the hospital because our door is always open... including the police. Whether they want to arrest people or not is their duty. We can't interfere," he said when contacted.

No comments:

Post a Comment