GEORGE TOWN: The public should not sensationalise the death of a houseman who fell from his residential building, says the Malaysian Medical Association.

Its president Dr Koh Kar Chai said the privacy of the victim’s family should be respected.

“We are saddened by the death of a houseman attached to Penang Hospital.

“We urge the public not to sensationalise the issue. The authorities must be allowed time to investigate his death,” he said in a statement yesterday.

George Town OCPD Asst Comm Soffian Santong had earlier said that the case had been classified as sudden death.

The Penang Health Department, in a statement, urged the public not to speculate or spread misinformation on the junior doctor’s demise.

Its director Dr Ma’arof Sudin said the department was still awaiting lab results from the case.

He confirmed that the deceased was a graduate medical officer who started working at Penang Hospital on April 4.

Investigation showed the deceased had fallen from a building on April 17.

“Police are investigating the case while an autopsy was performed at Penang Hospital’s Forensic Department.

“We are still waiting for some laboratory test results before completing the report on the investigation,” he said in a statement.

Dr Ma’arof noted that a final report would be submitted to the police to assist in their investigation.

“While waiting for the investigation outcome, we request the cooperation of all parties not to speculate and spread false information about this incident out of respect for the family.

“Our department and Penang Hospital will give full cooperation to the police in their investigation,” Dr Ma’arof said, extending his condolences to the family and friends of the deceased.Penang health committee chairman Dr Norlela Ariffin claimed that many junior doctors in Malaysia were subject to difficult working conditions.

“The state Health Department claimed that the overwork issue was due to a lack of manpower, but we have a lot of medical graduates who did not get placements or have been waiting a long time to be posted,” she said in a statement.

This is believed to be the second death involving a junior doctor in two years.

In December 2020, a doctor who had resigned from the same hospital was also reportedly to have died suddenly.

Those suffering from mental health issues can reach out to the Mental Health Psychosocial Support Service (03-2935 9935 or 014-322 3392); Talian Kasih (15999 or 019-261 5999 on WhatsApp); or Jakim’s (Islamic Development Malaysia Department) family, social and community care centre (011-1959 8214 on WhatsApp).

They can also reach out to Befrienders Kuala Lumpur (03-7627 2929), Befrienders Penang (04-291 0100) or go to befrienders.org.my/centre-in-malaysia for a full list of numbers nationwide and operating hours, or email sam@befrienders.org.my.