IPOH: A witness informed the Coroner’s Court probing the cause of a Navy cadet officer J. Soosaimanicckam’s death that she was told he (cadet) had defecated while showering at the quarters about an hour prior to his death in May last year.
KD Sultan Idris 1 Course Planning Officer Leftenan Nur Suhana Kasim Bakri, 32, said her colleague informed her of the matter at about 12.30pm, and she immediately alerted her superior so that Soosaimanicckam could be sent to the Lumut Armed Forces Hospital for medical treatment.
She said she told her colleague to get Soosaimanicckam ready and to bring him to the vehicle parked at the porch of the quarters so that he could be sent to the hospital.
“I saw some of his friends assisting him to the vehicle as Soosaimanicckam had no energy to walk on his own, and there were dry wounds on his forehead and elbow.
“He was wearing a white shirt, and black slacks, and an officer followed him in the car for the 10-minute journey to the hospital.
“I drove my own car, with my colleague seated next to me, and when we reached the hospital, the vehicle with Soosaimanicckam was parked at the Emergency Department, while I had to go an find a parking spot elsewhere, ” she said in her testimony before Sessions Court judge Azman Abu Hassan, who sat as coroner.
Nur Suhana was testifying in the inquest on the death of Soosaimanicckam, who died while undergoing training as a cadet officer at the naval base on May 19 last year.
He was pronounced dead that same day at the hospital at about 1.45pm.
It was reported in the media that before his death, Soosaimanicckam complained of chest pain and shortness of breath after completing a physical exercise that was part of his daily routine training.
Soosaimanicckam had reported for duty on May 12, a week before his death.
It was also reported in the media that initial police investigations ruled out foul play as a post-mortem examination found he died of pulmonary oedema, a condition where there is water or liquid in the lungs.
Earlier Leftenan Nur Suhana was questioned by deputy public prosecutor Qistini Qamarul Abrar over what happened on May 19.
Leftenan Nur Suhana said twice a month, she was assigned as the additional trainer, and on May 19 she assumed that duty.
“When I started duty at 8.20am, the other trainer handing over duties told me another cadet was admitted to the hospital due to some skin rash, while the rest of the cadets was doing their three rounds of slow jog.
“I was also informed that Soosaimanicckam completed the three rounds and was tired and had no energy for group activities, and thus he was assigned to perform static exercises alone, ” she added.
Leftenan Nur Suhana added that after a 30-minute break, at about 11am, Soosaimanicckam's body mass index was measured, and the reading was higher compared to his record.
“After some time, the cadets were instructed to go back to their quarters to clean their rooms and block, and my colleague and I left for the hospital to visit the cadet who was admitted there.
“When I got back at 12.30pm to the lobby of the quarters, my colleague went to check on the cadets, while I was doing some work, and after a few minutes, my colleague informed me about the defecating incident, ” she said.
Judge Azman later said it was very strange that that the cadet should, within a matter of a week, die despite a full medical check-up prior to recruitment.
“I was thinking the incident occurred a few months into training, but this is only in a week.
“I think it is necessary for the medical officer from the Armed Forces medic team, who carried out the full medical examination prior to the selection of the cadets, to be called as well to get a clearer picture on the extent of the examinations carried out, ” he added.
Mahajoth Singh is the counsel representing the deceased’s family as part of Lawyers for Liberty.
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