KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 21 — The Health Ministry and police are giving conflicting accounts of the recent raid against suspected robbers at Serdang Hospital that left one doctor injured.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said hospital authorities were not informed of the raid and the doctor in question had run off when approached by plainclothes policemen in balaclavas.
However, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar insisted the hospital had been informed and the failure to take instructions from the police led to the incident.
During a working visit to the Serdang Hospital, Dr Subramaniam said the doctor had been treated in an unnecessarily rough manner.
“The doctor who was tackled and detained by plainclothes police on October 7 feared for his life when several masked individuals approached him,” he said.
“Out of fear, he did not cooperate when he was ordered to as the officers had no identifying markings or police insignia.”
While he conceded police had the mandate to conduct operations against criminals, Dr Subramaniam said the police should have taken steps to verify the identity of the doctor.
“The raid was conducted in the grounds of the hospital and the officers could have brought him in to the office to verify his identity,” he said.
Dr Subramaniam said hospital authorities had not been informed prior to the operation.
“It would not be possible to have tipped off the hospital first. You cannot inform criminals when you are coming for them.”
Speaking to reporters during a function in Kuala Lumpur, Khalid said the police would not issue any apology over the incident and pinned the blame of the incident on the doctor.
“No official apology from us. We are just doing our job. I regret what happened. But there will be no apology,” he said.
Khalid said the public needed to cooperate in such situations and the doctor in question should have stayed put and not run away.
“We knew these suspects used to have their meals there. When the police arrived and raided the place at that specific time, the suspects were there,” he said.
“Before they arrived, everyone else was told not to run away. But the suspects and this doctor ran away so the police thought he was one of the suspects.”
On October 7, the plainclothes policemen acted on a tip-off on criminal elements using a cafeteria in the premise of the hospital.
The raid, carried out at 9.30pm, saw heavily armed policemen tackle a doctor whom they assumed to be a member of the criminal gang despite him wearing a coat, identity tag and stethoscope. – Malay Mail Online