Cops to question health news portal editor over reports about fatal 2016 JB hospital fire

A fire broke out in the intensive care unit of the Johor Baru general hospital in October four years ago and claimed the lives of six patients there. ― Picture via Facebook
A fire broke out in the intensive care unit of the Johor Baru general hospital in October four years ago and claimed the lives of six patients there. ― Picture via Facebook

KUALA LUMPUR, June 26 — Police today summoned the editor-in-chief of CodeBlue, an online health news site, for questioning over four articles it had published about the fire that broke out in October 2016 at the Hospital Sultanah Aminah in Johor Baru and killed six patients.

The news portal said Boo Su-Lyn has been called to the Putrajaya police district headquarters for her statement at 2pm, adding that the investigation is under Penal Code and Official Secrets Act.

CodeBlue also said its articles under investigation were published from March 9 to 12 this year and are headlined: “Inquiry blames unprepared staff, MOH, Bomba for Sultanah Hospital fire deaths”; “Why Bomba didn’t charge ‘fire hazard’ Sultanah Aminah hospital”; “Company gave HSA faulty fire extinguisher, falsified data: Inquiry hears”; and “Take legal action against Medivest, HSA fire inquiry tells government”.

The news portal questioned the police investigation, and claimed it was diverting from the concerns raised about fire safety standards at public healthcare facilities.

“This police investigation into the articles reporting on the declassified findings of the inquiry committee is a distraction from the disconcerting points highlighted in the report,” it said in a statement.

“These are the names of the victims: Logeswaran Krishnasamy; Choo Lin Fung; Toh Ah Wah; Yusuf Hasan; Kaliama Muniandy; and NeeramaladeviChandran.

“Their families deserve to know the truth,” CodeBlue added.

A fire broke out in the intensive care unit of the Johor Baru general hospital in October four years ago and claimed the lives of six patients there.

An inquiry was subsequently conducted and its findings reported by CodeBlue pointed out that the hospital had been operating without a fire certificate, had faulty fire extinguishers, and claimed staff were unprepared for fire-related emergencies.

A Cabinet decision in October last year, when the government was under Pakatan Harapan, called for the inquiry to be made public.

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