Doctor pleads not guilty to manslaughter over death of Malaysia DPM's son-in-law

Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Aug 11. His son-in-law Datuk Syed Alman Syed Alwi died after sedation for oral surgery. PHOTO: EPA

KUALA LUMPUR (The Star/Asia News Network) - A gynaecologist and part-time dentist has claimed trial in a Sessions Court here to a charge of manslaughter in the death of the son-in-law of Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Dr Ting Teck Chin, 36, pleaded not guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder under Section 304(b) of the Penal Code for the death of Datuk Syed Alman Syed Alwi on June 1.

The alleged offence took place between 6pm and 7pm on June 1 at the Imperial Dental Specialist Centre in Jalan Telawi, Bangsar. Dr Ting, 36, was attending to Syed Alman as a locum, or stand-in, dentist.

He faces a 10-year-jail term, a fine or both if convicted.

Sessions judge Zainal L Saleh set bail at RM20,000 with one surety. The case will be mentioned again on Oct 17.

It was reported that Syed Alman, who was married to Zahid's eldest daughter Nurulhidayah Zahid, fell unconscious while under sedation for oral surgery at the clinic.

The 44-year-old was rushed to University Malaya Medical Centre where he was pronounced dead.

The clinic claimed after the incident that the surgery was conducted with the presence of a trained medical practitioner.

On Friday it also claimed trial to nine charges.Represented by its director Wong Yen Ling, the clinic pleaded not guilty to six charges related to the death of Syed Alman.

Wong also pleaded not guilty to another three charges of failing to adhere to other regulations on healthcare facilities and services.

The centre was charged with failing to ensure that Dr Ting, who administered anaesthesia to Syed Alman, was a qualified anaesthesiologist while Nor Azima Muhamad Nuwi was not qualified to perform an orthopantomogram (a panoramic dental X-ray scan) on him.

Further charges were for failing to provide Syed Alman's medical record to Universiti Malaya Medical Centre when he was transferred there and for providing anaesthesia services on him at their premises at Jalan Telawi, Bangsar Baru, which is against the purpose of their licence.

The four charges under the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act carry a fine of up to RM300,000 for each offence.

Two more charges under the same Act were over functional expansion which affected services and resulted in administering anaesthesia on Syed Alman without the approval of the health director-general.

Another three more charges were over alleged failure to adhere to the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Regulations.

The centre is also accused of failing to keep and maintain a staff record according to regulations, which could see it fined another RM300,000 if found guilty.

The other two charges were for failure to ensure medicine labels meet regulations and that sufficient steps were taken to ensure that staff are protected from biological hazards. If convicted, the centre could be fined up to RM10,000, a maximum jail sentence of three months or both.

Imperial Dental Specialist Centre was represented by Sreekant Pillai while DPP Mohd Abazafree Mohd Abbas prosecuted.

Sessions judge Harmi Thamri Mohamad @ Shaharudin did not set bail as it is a summons case and fixed mention on Sept 8.

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