Zahid confirms Jong-nam’s body was embalmed
KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has confirmed that the body of deceased North Korean citizen Kim Jong-nam, who was murdered here last month, has been embalmed.
The home minister said the body, which had been kept at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital mortuary for a month, was taken out for the procedure.
“Yes (it is true). It is an effort to preserve the body. If the body is kept at the mortuary (for too long), the body might decompose,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby here yesterday.
Zahid’s statement confirmed the New Straits Times’ exclusive front-page report that the authorities had decided to preserve the body of the 45-year-old to prevent further decomposition.
Jong-nam’s remains were brought to Kuala Lumpur Hospital on Feb 15.
He died in an ambulance while being taken to Putrajaya Hospital following a chemical attack at klia2 on the morning of Feb 13.
Sunday night would be the first time from that day that his body had been taken out of the hospital.
His body was driven out from the hospital at about 7.30pm. By 10.30pm, it was back at the mortuary for safekeeping.
It was reported that a Kuala Lumpur Hospital hearse carrying Jong-nam’s body travelled to a private facility offering the embalming service.
It was understood that this was a better option, considering the other body-preservation methods for cadavers, offered by government agencies, would involve soaking the body in formaldehyde.
The NST had learnt that the procedure would have cost something in the region of RM20,000. It could not be established who settled the bill.
A foreign journalist reading the latest exclusive on the Jong-nam case in yesterday’s edition of the ‘New Straits Times’. The newspaper has been among the sources of reference for coverage on the highprofile murder.