KUALA LUMPUR: An obstetrician and gynaecologist was acquitted and discharged by a Malaysian court on Friday (Aug 10) over the death of former deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's son-in-law.
Syed Alman Zain Syed Alwi died in 2016 after undergoing surgery to remove a wisdom tooth at Imperial Dental Specialist Centre in Kuala Lumpur. Gynaecologist Dr Ting Teck Chin was working there as a part-time anesthetist.
During the trial, the court heard that Dr Ting gave Syed Alman Zain eight injections for anesthesia. The patient convulsed several times during the surgery and lost consciousness, prompting doctors to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
On Friday, the judge ordered the release of Dr Ting, 38, after finding that the prosecution had failed to establish a prima facie case at the end of the prosecution’s case.
“There were inconsistencies in the testimony between the anaesthetist and the autopsy expert on the cause of death of the deceased. The anaesthetist said there was cardiac arrest as a result of over-sedation, while the autopsy expert opined that the death was caused due to allergy to anaesthetic," said the judge.
“However, the testimony by the anaesthetist did say the possibility of the death due to allergy to anaesthetic, although it seldom happens, but the possibility is there," he added.
"Therefore, the accused is acquitted and discharged without having to enter his defence."
A total of 25 prosecution witnesses testified during the hearing which began early last year.
The dental centre, represented by company director Dr Wong Yen Ling, had also pleaded not guilty to nine charges linked to Syed Alman Zain's death.
Dr Wong, as the licence-holder, was charged with failing to ensure that Dr Ting was a qualified anesthesiologist. The company was also charged with failing to put in place life-saving measures by not providing oxygen as a basic emergency care service.