Dear fellow Malaysians,
I am relieved to be able to report and relay to you about a wonderful job carried out by ACCIN, the Allied Coordinating Committee of Islamic NGO's who have helped solve a problem relating to the withholding of the remains of a Malaysian Indian Hindu man who had passed away as a result of a road accident on Sunday, the 15th of February 2009.
I was just surfing the headlines online when I came across this disturbing case published in the official website of Malaysia's Hindu Sangam, the official body representing our nation's hindu community.
I am referring to this press statement from the Malaysia Hindu Sangam dated 17th February, 2009.
PRESS STATEMENT : MHS Saddened By Confiscation Of Body.
The Malaysia Hindu Sangam (MHS) is gravely disturbed to understand that the body of a deceased man, a practicing Hindu, has not been released to his wife and family for final rites. MHS is informed that the body is being retained by the Serdang Hospital mortuary upon the interference by Islamic Authorities, who have claimed that the deceased is a Muslim.
Mr Amaran was killed in a road accident on 15th February 2009, and his body was sent to the Serdang Hospital for post-mortem. His wife, Valarmathi, was shocked when informed by the hospital mortuary that her late husband’s body could not be released to her for Hindu funeral rites, as the authorities had laid claim to his body for Islamic burial rites instead.
His family maintains that Amaran has been a practicing Hindu all his life. He was married according Hindu ceremonial rites, and his marriage was also recorded in the Civil Registry as him being a Hindu. His children are also registered as Hindus. The family has explained to MHS that when Amaran changed his identity card to the new MyKad, the National Registration Department had erroneously listed his religion as Muslim, when in actual fact he was a practicing Hindu. He had notified the department of this at the time.
This situation is most disturbing and goes against the grain of the spirit of dialogue that has been ongoing between MHS and ACCIN (the Allied Coordinating Committee of Islamic NGOs). This dialogue has been aimed at overcoming conflicting situations such as this from arising, as has been experienced in several prior incidents.
The MHS strongly urges the authorities to immediately release the body of the deceased to the wife and family, so that they may be able to placate their grief on their loss, by completing the necessary funeral rites.
Let the family be at peace. The true spirit of Muhibbah must prevail.
Dated 17th February 2009
Datuk A Vaithilingam
Malaysia Hindu Sangam
As a Muslim blogger and heading the Muslim Bloggers Alliance, naturally I felt that if this situation is true and that the withholding of the deceased's remains by the authorities is due to another gross slip up of a staff of the National Registration Department, then I ought to help out to solve this matter for the benefit of the deceased's family and also the ummah in general because this kind of battling over dead bodies is surely an unnecessary blot in our nation's reputation especially of that involving the good name and reputation of our Islamic authorities.
I then decided to try and contact the Malaysia Hindu Sangam for more details and try to glean as much information as I possibly can so as to network with my contacts in ACCIN and also the government departments concerned.
I called the Malaysia Hindu Sangam's main line and spoke to a Miss Sumathi who informed me that Datuk A Vaithilingam is overseas at the moment and can't be reached.
I then asked for his deputy's number and she gave me a Dr.Bala Tharmalingam's contact number (019-212 7003) who was also not available for a discussion as he was said to be in a meeting.
Dr.Bala Tharmalingam is the Chief Executive Officer of the Bukit Merah Laketown Institute of Allied Health Sciences, a nursing college.
I then called back the MHS main line and told Miss Sumathi that I would need to speak to another person representing the MHS and she gave me a Mr. Pardip Kumar's number which is 03-2070 8055.
A Miss Sharon answered and said that Mr.Pardip is engaged in a meeting and asked for my contact details so that once he's done, she'd have him call me back.
Some of you might say as to why the hell should I bother? Well, I do. I care for this nation.
Frankly speaking these kind of reports stating that the Malaysian authorities are once again turning into corpse snatchers simply doesn't go well with me as a Muslim!
As one who is very concerned with these kind of unnecessary problems which in actuality crops up because some fool screws up over there at the National Registration Department, we do have to bother and take the necessary steps to nip such problems in the bud, so to speak!
Due to the errors committed by some clerk over there at JPN, the consequences of his or her mistakes have come home to roost in the form of these disputes as to whether a deceased Non Malay citizen is a Muslim or not?
Do we seriously need these kind of problems cropping up again and again without fail?
Can we afford to keep having such squabbles amongst us when we are already suffering from political turmoil and its ensuing race and religious strife as a result of some keyboard punching data operator or clerk who turns into 'Little Napoleons' in the JPN @ NRD office and causes so much grievance to so many people and also endangers the fragile peace and harmony that we so desperately need in these troubling times?
This is not something to be 'pooh pooh'ed away dear ladies and gentlemen.
Those who have been entrusted to register the particulars of each and every Malaysian or permanent resident really needs to be very, very thorough in their carrying out of their duties and they themselves need to be without fail be supervised by responsible professional people who are the best amongst their counterparts!
Failure to check and recheck by the staff over there in the Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara @ National Registration Department has again caused an unnecessary situation for the grieving families.
*** Update ***
As I was typing this report, Dr.Bala Tharmalingam called and we spoke about this matter.
Dr. Bala informed me that the problem has been solved as a result of the very good work done by members of ACCIN, the Allied Coordinating Committee of Islamic NGO's!
This good news came to be exactly what I had been hoping for!
Dr.Bala updated me that ACCIN had helped the MHS to solve this problem by having those concerned carry out a thorough rechecking of all the relevant documents and details of the deceased and that they have helped confirm that the late Mr.Amaran was indeed a practicing Hindu and his remains have been released to his family as of yesterday.
Dr.Bala has expressed his sincere gratitude to ACCIN and appreciates their timely help in solving this case and hopes to see a more harmonious relationship amongst the many faiths and ethnic groups of this blessed nation.
I am just so relieved to know that an unnecessary religious tension has been solved and removed due to the prompt action by our brothers there in ACCIN and have helped thwart another case of 'corpse snatching' from messing up our much needed peace and harmony amongst this nation's multi ethnic, multi faithed population.
The JPN staff really need to be very, very careful not to mess up again and to please confirm and reconfirm each and every MyKad applicant's status to avoid future religious turmoil from breaking out again due to their careless and silly mistakes!
Malaysia can't afford to have such flare ups!
To those on duty at the JPN.
A heartfelt plea from Mahaguru58.
Please! Carry out your duties diligently and remember that the safety and well being of this nation rests with you and the manner by which you perform your duties.
Believe me when I say that you can make or break this nation if you ever mess up again!
I thank Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala for sparing us another unnecessary fiasco due to the slip up of the concerned JPN Registration Officer and would like to express my sincere appreciation to the ACCIN team for helping to solve another screw up and defuse another religious time bomb which just might have exploded into another flurry of accusations of 'corpse snatching' against the Malaysian Islamic authorities.
All's well that ends well.......for now.
I call upon the Malaysia Hindu Sangam to please update your website and inform your readers as to the satisfactory outcome of this case and that the family has been given the remains of the deceased Mr.Amaran promptly upon the irrefutable evidence that the error was on the part of the JPN staff and that everything is now settled.
This will help clear the air and help the nation return to a sense of normalcy again.
May Allah the Almighty bless and guide us as we strive to help maintain and upkeep the precious peace and harmony between us for the sake of this nation which is our motherland and home.