The man suspected of desecrating a Hindu temple in Ipoh by smashing several idols with a parang was charged in a Sessions Court in Ipoh today for a defiling a house of worship and carrying an offensive weapon in public.
Fathi Munzir Nadzri, 29, pleaded not guilty to the charges that were read out to him by the court interpreter before Sessions Court judge Ikmal Hishan Mohd Tajuddin.
Fathi is alleged to have damaged the idols at the Sree Muneeswaran Amman Temple on Jalan Hospital at about 5pm on April 24.
He was charged under Section 295 of the Penal Code for defiling a house of worship.
Fathi was also charged under Section 6 of the Corrosive and Explosive Substances and Offensive Weapons Act 1958 for carrying offensive weapons in public places.
Counsel for the defence proposed that Fathi be let off on a bail of RM8,000, but this was rejected by the court.
The court ordered him to be held at Hospital Bahagia Ulu Kinta in Tanjung Rambutan, where he is currently already undergoing mental health evaluation, until May 30.
However, Fathi, who worked as an intern at a government hospital in Ipoh, is not known to have suffered from any mental disorder, according to Health Ministry deputy director-general Dr S Jeyaindran, as reported by The Malay Mail.
This is despite state health committee chairperson Dr Mah Hang Soon and inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar saying that Fathi suffered from a mental condition.
"I am not sure where they obtained the information from, but the Health Ministry is not aware of it.
"Since he has been sent to Hospital Bahagia Ulu Kinta for mental assessment, let's wait for the psychiatrist's diagnosis.
"The ministry has also not received any complaint against him during his internship," Jeyaindran said.
Ministry to probe intern's resignation
He added that the suspect was an intern houseman at the Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital in Ipoh, starting April 11, but had resigned 11 days later.
This was two days before he allegedly desecrated the temple.
The ministry will also investigative why Fathi resigned as an intern, he said.
“We would like to know why he gave up his internship with a 24-hour notice. We also want to know how he fared during his 11 days of internship.
“The ministry cannot take action against him because he is no longer our staff, since he resigned on April 22. That is why the internal inquiry is not meant to adjudicate him but only to help us find out what happened," Jeyaindran added.
Perak Health Department director Dr Juita Ghazalie also dismissed claims that Fathi refused to treat women patients, according to a report in The Malay Mail.
“At that early stage of employment, doctors will be in the orientation period where they would be shown around the blood bank, the pharmacy and the medical laboratory.
“They will only tag along with housemen and are not allowed to treat patients," Juita is quoted as saying.
Fathi was counselled by a ward specialist after he resigned, she said, adding that this was not related to any psychiatric or stress-related issues.
“The ward specialist counselled him because he resigned suddenly,” Juita explained.