Officer slapped Soosaimanicckam multiple times, sat on stomach during training – former cadet testifies

Former RMN cadet officer, Anas Hakimi Mat (left), arrives to give his testimony at the KL Sessions Court.

KUALA LUMPUR, March 8: A former Royal Malaysian Naval cadet today told the Sessions Court that he saw a junior lieutenant sitting on the stomach of the late J. Soosaimanicckam and slapping him multiple times during training just a day before the latter died.

Anas Hakimi Mat, 31, who is now a lawyer, in his testimony said the junior lieutenant was known as Muda Ariff and had carried out such an action on May 18, 2018, on Soosai, who was 27 during the period of training as a naval cadet.

Another officer, Major Rahim then came to the area where the incident was taking place and diffused the situation, Anas further testified.

Relating the incident, which he said happened on a Friday, one day before the victim died on May 19, 2018, Anas said all the other trainees were in front of him and all had witnessed the victim being beaten.

“We then lined up in the push-up position, and almost all witnessed the reaction of the victim,” he said.

Anas, who is the fourth witness for the plaintiff, said this during examination by lawyer Zaid Malek who is representing S.Joseph who has brought a case against the Government of Malaysia, the Defence Ministry and 13 other parties as defendants.

According to Anas, Soosai was also separated from other trainees as he had regularly sought to be excused citing medical reasons.

He disagreed with the statement from Senior Federal Counsel Nur Ezdiani Roleb during cross examination that Soosai had been separated from the others and given rough treatment to instil discipline and a fighting spirit for the country.

Anas said the victim was of large built and sometimes had discipline problems.

Earlier, the court also heard the statements of Soosai’s two brothers, who were also witnesses for plaintiff, namely J. Charles, 38, and J. Calvin, 36.

In the summons filed on May 19, 2021, the family of Soosai had alleged that the defendants had been negligent in not providing emergency care for the victim who had been listless during the day of the incident, and had also failed to monitor the well being and welfare of the victim during the training sessions.

Soosai, who was a graduate cadet officer, was declared dead at the Armed Forces Hospital in Lumut on May 19, 2018. On June 16, last year, a Coroner’s Court in Ipoh declared an open verdict into his death.

Coroner Ainul Shahrin Mohamad also ruled that the cause of Soosai’s death during his training as a naval cadet officer at KD Sultan Idris, Lumut, was water in the lungs (pulmonary oedema).

The case will continue on April 17.