Nine months later and still no update on UUM student’s death

IT has been over nine months since Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) student S. Vinosiny’s death in her room on campus last year but the police have yet to conclude their investigation into the matter.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin, in a written parliamentary reply to a question about the case, said the ministry has not been updated on the investigation and cannot comment further.

“However, the ministry, through UUM, has provided aid and support to the family of the late student,” he said in a parliamentary reply to Klang MP V. Ganabatirau who wanted an update on the case involving Vinosiny.

The student, who was in the fourth semester of her accounting and information system studies, died on May 21 last year. Her family suspected that she died from an electric shock.

Khaled further noted that the ministry takes the welfare and safety of students seriously and they have taken several steps to improve the situation at all public university campuses following Vinosiny’s death.

This includes ordering all the institutions to review the safety of their premises and strengthen their management of building maintenance.

The ministry has also decided that periodical audits on building maintenance and student safety are to be done more often and the reports must be submitted to the ministry.

According to the victim’s father, R. Sivakumar, he received a call from the university’s management at about 3pm on the day of the incident and was told that Vinosiny was found unconscious in her room.

He claimed that the caller was vague about what had happened and he was only told that his daughter had died after asking if there was any sign of life.

Last year, Sivakumar also told Malaysiakini that his daughter’s body had obvious burn marks on her face and right hand with two of her fingers a purple-blackish colour when the doctor showed him her remains at Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital in Alor Setar, Kedah.

He filed a police report against UUM on May 27, calling for an investigation on whether the university had properly maintained its buildings.

UUM vice-chancellor Prof Dr Haim Hilman Abdullah said maintenance work at the campus in Kedah had been carried out according to procedure and schedule. – Feb 15, 2023

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