PETALING JAYA: Still grieving over their mother who was killed in a hit-and-run accident in Kuantan in March last year, the family of the late Lam Kwai Lan is startled and baffled by the twists and turns that the case has taken since.
Lams eldest son, Tan Wai Hong, 22, said they received a letter from the Pahang state legal advisors office in July this year notifying them that their application to withdraw the case had been rejected.
We never submitted any such application, said the college student.
The family was also not officially informed by the police of the proceedings of the court case and only knew that the case had come up for mention in August when they received an SMS from a friend in the police force.
We were further surprised to hear that the charge against the accused was reduced from causing death by reckless or dangerous driving to merely careless and inconsiderate driving, with the accused being fined RM5,000 in August.
Tan said the family was unhappy over the way the case had been handled.
Our family has been kept in the dark throughout. Who put in the application to withdraw the case and why were we not informed that the case was going on? Besides that, we also want to know why the charge has been reduced, he said during a press conference held at Seputeh MP Teresa Koks office yesterday.
When contacted, National Human Rights Society executive council member and Bar Council human rights committee member Ramdas Tikamdas felt that in such a case, the police had a social and moral responsibility to keep the family informed.
While I am not aware of any law that states that the police have to inform the family, it would be clearly prudent for them to inform the next-of-kin. The family may want to conduct a watching brief for potential civil claims against the accused, he said.
Pahang Deputy Public Prosecutor Ahmad Rosli Mohd. Sham declined to comment immediately.
When I get back to the office on Wednesday (tomorrow) after my Raya break, I will prepare and hand over a report regarding the details of the case to the Attorney-Generals Chambers, he said.
A complaint letter has been submitted to the IGP and the AGs Chambers yesterday by Kok on behalf of the victims family.