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I refer to the Malaysiakini report Blunt force trauma did not cause Kugan's death .

In the aftermath of the horrific death of A Kugan when he was in police custody, Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai reportedly asked the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) to examine the two post-mortem reports on the car theft suspect. He said this in view of a complaint lodged by Kugan’s mother N Indra with the MMC.

The very next day almost in knee-jerk fashion, the Health Ministry director-general over whom the MCA minister has zero control, stated that the Malaysian Medical Council has acted against 13 doctors — including striking the names of two of them off the medical register — for various offences last year.

MMC inquiries go on for ages. Why make a statement regarding their status within 24 hours after Liow’s well-intentioned statement?

The DG either appears to have taken Liow’s request as an affront and published the names of these ‘errant’ doctors for the public to view. Or maybe he just wanted to show Liow who really is the boss.

But Merican coming to the defence of the beleaguered Indonesian pathologist Karim Tajuddin whilst running down University Malaya’s expatriate pathologist Prashant N Samberkar even as the MMC hearing is ongoing is nothing short of disgraceful.

His media statement on the pathological features that caused Kugan’s death is clearly designed to get the government off the hook by trying to hoodwink the very public whom he thinks can be fooled, by rehashing and re-categorising the quantum and extent of the battered boy’s injuries.

He blatantly tries to cover up the cause of death by shifting the primary etiology of trauma as the precipitating factor causing Kugan’s death to underlying acute myocarditis as the predisposing factor that hastened the boy’s eventual renal shutdown and ultimate pulmonary edema (‘water in the lungs’).

The timing of the Kugan statement means that the director-general of health sees it convenient to make use the supposedly independent Malaysian Medical Council of which he is puzzlingly president.

With a health DG more interested in playing politics, is there any wonder why we have a relentless mosquito-borne epidemic with almost half of this country’s population hypertensive and diabetic?

Forget about Sabahans in Kota Kinabalu who don’t even have a general hospital anymore.

With this DG’s reckless disregard compounded further by his lack of attention in providing quality healthcare access for the Malaysian public, Merican should perhaps take his mask off and instead do what he really aspires to be…stand as a Umno candidate in the very next by-election.