"WHAT A FARCE"
KUALA LUMPUR: The issue between custodial death victim N. Dharmendran’s family and Datuk Paul Low has been described as a “huge misunderstanding” by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.
Insisting that his intentions were good when his colleague contacted Dharmendran’s family, Low said his offer of assistance to seek justice had been misconstrued as an attempt to cover up the matter.
Dharmendran’s wife claimed on Wednesday that the Pemandu director for NKRA in Fighting Corruption, D. Ravindran, had called the family on Tuesday to intimidate them and to offer monetary settlement.
“I felt sorry for Dharmendran’s wife and family so I told Ravi that the Government has to empathise with them and I wanted to meet them to offer my condolences.
“Unfortunately, a simple thing like this got out of hand and I was accused of intimidation. My intention was merely to reach out and I thought that this was the best way to do it,” he said at a press conference yesterday.
Ravindran, who was also present at the press conference, said he called Dharmendran’s father asking if Low could visit them.
“He told us not to come because we might get abused so we offered to meet him elsewhere.
“Hours later I got a call from someone claiming to be their family friend, asking me to meet him at a hotel to settle a payment,” claimed Ravindran, adding that it was then that he and Low decided to call Subang MP R. Sivarasa and Bersih 2.0 chairman Datuk S. Ambiga for help.
Low also revealed that he offered for the family’s lawyer and PKR vice-president N. Surendran to be present at the press conference yesterday to explain the matter to him but claimed that he could not be reached.
He said he was now in a dilemma over how to proceed in engaging with the family.
“To be frank, I don’t know if I want to continue reaching out to them. But I just want to give this message that I am available to help them to see that justice is served, not to give them compensation,” he said.
Dharmendran was 32 years old when he died in the Kuala Lumpur police headquarters lock-up on May 21.
Meanwhile, Surendran denied that he had been contacted and accused Low of making excuses.