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Friday, August 26, 2011

Chemistry Dept's apathy slammed: You could kill someone, says expert

Sulaiman Kamal | 4:13 AM | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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Government scientist Dr Seah Lay Hoong would have lost her job if she worked in Australia, a foreign DNA expert told Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy trial today.
Consultant molecular geneticist Dr Brian McDonald told the High Court that Dr Seah’s casual attitude in learning that two containers holding DNA samples that were likely mislabelled and doing nothing about it was a “sackable offence”.
Dr Seah is the government’s DNA expert who had allegedly told the court to give the benefit of the doubt when questions were raised over the dates on two containers holding DNA samples sent to her for analysis.

Both containers bore labels that were dated June 26, 2008.
Anwar is charged with sodomising former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan in a Damansara Heights condominium on the same date.
The court has been told the complainant was swabbed for test samples of his DNA only after seeing doctors two days later, on June 28, 2008.
Dr McDonald, who was briefed of the history of the case, said such a labelling meant one of two things, either the samples were indeed taken on June 28, 2008; or the samples were labelled wrongly.
“This is a sackable offence,” he testified.
“You could kill someone. If you change something on a medical result, you could kill someone,” he said.
Dr McDonald explained that the proper thing to do would be to verify with the source if there has been a mistake and move quickly to correct it and have those steps recorded.
The Australian scientist, who is a witness for Anwar’s defence, was replying to questions from lawyer Ramkarpal Singh Deo.
“If it’s a mistake, you have to correct it and document it. You have to do something. It’s not an option that is open to the recipient,” he stressed.

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