Rat Urine Not Beatings That Killed Alleged Abuse Victim Thaqif

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Mother dismisses rat urine disease as the cause of her son’s death, alleging the health ministry has not been transparent about the autopsy.

According to postmortem results, religious school student Mohamad Thaqif Amin Mohd Gaddafi had died from leptospirosis and not injuries due to alleged abuse by a school assistant warden.

Ministry of Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said that the autopsy was carried out on Apr 26, the same day the 11-year-old boy died.

“The autopsy results found that the tahfiz student had died from disease, and not from trauma or injury as what had gone viral.

“The cause of death is leptospirosis (rat urine disease) and it was complicated with skin necrosis and micro blood coagulation (microthrombi) throughout the bloodstream. This caused the change of skin colour and organ failure,” Dr Noor Hisham said in a statement.

Dr Noor Hisham added that a special investigation committee had been formed, consisting of forensic experts with expertise in complicated cases. He also said the autopsy report would be sent to the police for further action.

The assistant warden at Madrasah Tahfiz Al-Jauhar, a private religious school based in Kota Tinggi, Johor, had allegedly beaten Mohamad Thaqif on the soles of his feet with a rubber hose.

The pupil was allegedly abused on Mar 24 but was only sent to the hospital in Johor Baru on Apr 19, where he was found to have massive bacterial infection in all his limbs and suffered kidney failure.

Both his legs were amputated and he was supposed to have gone for surgery to amputate his right forearm. However, the procedure had to be cancelled as the boy’s heart rate and condition were not stable. He died without having the second surgery done.

On May 18, Mohamad Thaqif’s amputated legs were exhumed for further examination. 

The 29-year-old assistant warden, an ex-convict, was released from remand last month.

Meanwhile, Thaqif’s mother has dismissed the second autopsy result, while taking the government to task for delaying the release of the report.

The first autopsy, which was conducted at the hospital, failed to reveal the cause of death.

“Logically speaking, why was there a need to amputate his legs if it was leptospirosis? Also, wouldn’t it have been detected earlier if it was indeed leptospirosis?” she said.

“I’m a teacher; don’t try to spin it. I’m disappointed. When Thaqif was first hospitalised, the doctors could not detect anything, and now all of a sudden it’s leptospirosis.

“It doesn’t make sense. I can’t accept it,” Felda Wani Ahmad told FMT today.

She also said she and her family were disappointed with the health ministry for not being transparent about Thaqif’s autopsy.

“We just found out from reporters what the health director-general had revealed today.

“The ministry has no problem speaking to the press, but not to us. We are disappointed. Yet, when they wanted to amputate the legs and hands, they had no problem contacting us.

“Why didn’t they inform us about the findings of the second report? They could have called us.”

Felda Wani added that she has asked her lawyer to obtain the full autopsy report.