In a startling turn of events, a young Malaysian man, who underwent a traumatic circumcision 13 years ago, has seen a drastic reduction in the damages awarded to him after winning the lawsuit against the Malaysian Government and four other parties.
Background of the Incident
The story begins with a young Malaysian man who, at the age of 10, had the entire head of his private part cut off during a circumcision procedure, according to the Harian Metro.
The lawsuit, filed against the government and medical practitioners, claimed that the prescribed procedure was not followed, leading to irreversible damage.
The High Court, sympathetic to the victim’s plight, initially awarded a substantial sum of RM3.1 million in damages. The decision was based on the assertion that the medical staff’s delay in treating the injuries left no hope of saving the victim’s private parts.
Court of Appeal’s Decision
However, the recent decision by the Court of Appeal, led by Datuk Ravintharan Paramaguru, unanimously reduced the damages significantly. The panel deemed the initial general damages of RM2 million (SGD$575k) too high and unsupported by documentation.
Consequently, the general damages were reduced to RM100,000 (SGD$28.7k), and special damages were reduced from RM108,356 (SGD$31.1k) to RM23,556 (SGD$6.7k).
Apart from the government, the four other parties named in the suit include a medical officer and the director of Kuala Lipis Hospital in Pahang, and a specialist doctor and the director of Selayang Hospital in Selangor. Each played a role in the alleged failure of the prescribed circumcision procedure.
Prescribed Procedure Failure
The heart of the lawsuit lies in the claim that the prescribed procedure was not carried out, resulting in the severe consequence of the entire head of the genital being cut off. This failure led to the irreversible changes in the victim’s body, impacting his life significantly.
The victim’s mother claimed that her son, now a young man, became introverted and no longer sought friendships with peers due to the permanent changes in his body caused by the circumcision incident.
The lawsuit also highlighted the alleged negligence of the medical staff, asserting that their delay in treating the injuries exacerbated the situation, eliminating any hope of salvaging the victim’s private parts.
In response to the High Court’s decision, the five defendants, including the government and medical practitioners, appealed. The Court of Appeal found the awarded sum too high, leading to the significant reduction in damages.