Klang MP Charles Santiago today advised the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital (HTAR) in his constituency to reach out to private funeral parlours to provide the necessary services amid the ongoing health crisis.
He said this was because public facilities are struggling to handle the growing number of Covid-19 deceased from the Klang general hospital on top of providing funerary services for people who died of other causes.
“The private crematoriums should take it as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to help the public and charge the hospital the same rate as local councils for cremating the bodies,” he told Malay Mail.
He noted that different arrangements may need to be made depending on the deceased’s religious requirements.
An online check by Malay Mail found that local councils charge from RM100 to RM180 to cremate adult dead bodies, depending on the location.
HTAR made headlines recently as pictures showing Covid-19 patients parked outside its Emergency Department due to the shortages of beds in the intensive care units and general wards went viral on social media.
The health crisis has continued with a widely circulated video last night showing a large number of white body bags placed on trolleys, the floor of the hospital mortuary and even spilling into the corridors outside, triggering questions online on the potential hazards over their delayed disposal.
Another video that was widely shared showed a man claiming the hospital had been offered but rejected the use of a free refrigerated container said to be worth RM35,000 to temporarily keep the bodies pending funeral rites.
A twitter post by user @lxcleopatraxl today also alleged that the container had been “quietly” donated by MIC president Tan Sri SA Vigneswaran.
Vigneswaran has yet to respond to Malay Mail’s prompts for comment.
However, HTAR today took to Facebook to thank MIC for donating a container to store the dead bodies.