PETALING JAYA: The Health Ministry has refuted rumours on social media that a woman allegedly died due to the Pasir Gudang pollution.
In expressing his condolences to the family, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said the woman had suffered from chronic hypertension for the past 10 years.
"She was brought to Hospital Sultan Ismail (HSI) Johor Baru on July 5 after experiencing difficulty in breathing and coughing for three days. Her legs were also swollen and she had a fever," he said, adding that the woman was later warded at the hospital.
Checks later revealed that the woman, who has been identified as Marini Kasman, 38, had acute high blood pressure in addition to troubled breathing.
"The medical team did their best to treat her but her condition became more serious and she died at 4.20am on July 6 from decompensated heart failure," he said in a statement Sunday (July 7).
Dr Dzulkefly said that based on clinical reports, her symptoms and test results, the woman's heart functions had worsened due to her chronic illness.
"There are no records to show that she sought treatment at the hospital at the height of the chemical pollution incident in Sungai Kim Kim nor since June 20.
"The ministry extends its condolences to her husband and family, and we are ready to meet with them to better explain her cause of death," he said.
Dr Dzulkefly also advised the public to respect the family's feelings and not share any false information about her death.
In JOHOR BARU, Marini's husband is pleading to the public, NGOs and political parties to stop circulating pictures of his late wife.
A. Bakar Abd Rahman, 48, also said his wife's death was due to heart failure and not because of the air pollution in Pasir Gudang.
“My statements were twisted, I was still grieving and just finished burying my wife before some reporters from unknown agencies came up and asked questions.
“I would like to apologise if anything I've said have been misinterpreted, and I do not want to blame any government agencies or department,” according to A. Bakar when met at his home in Taman Cahaya Masai on Sunday.
He added that his wife had been suffering from high blood pressure and asthma.
A. Bakar added that he was shocked to see that his wife's death had been manipulated to spread false news.
“I have been called to give my statement to the police. There are also irresponsible people out there who have used pictures of me and my wife during the recent Hari Raya to gain sympathy," he said.
Earlier, Marini's death had sparked a social media frenzy after it was linked to the air pollution in Pasir Gudang.
A poster, as well as a news clip about the woman’s death, have also been circulated via WhatsApp and Facebook.