Johor investigating claims that S'porean man died after "payment-before-treatment demand"

An investigation has been launched to look into claims that a Singaporean man died after a "payment-before-treatment demand" from a hospital in Johor Bahru.

The victim, 25-year-old student Justinian Tan, had been hit from behind by a Malaysian-registered car at about 3am on Aug 25.

He died at around 12.30am on Aug 30, two days after being pronounced brain dead, and was cremated at Mandai Crematorium today (Sep 1).

Another Singaporean, Brandon Yeo, also aged 25, was injured in the accident but has since been discharged from Gleneagles Hospital.

Joshua De Rozario witnessed the accident at Jalan Dato Abdullah Tahir.

He told Singapore media that Justinian and Brandon were rushed to Sultanah Aminah Hospital in JB, 30 minutes after the accident.

During the wait, he alleged that the police told him and his three other friends to "clean up the bloodstains on the road".

Recounting the incident, he said: "Upon reaching the hospital, we were asked to pay RM1,350 (around S$429) for each victim before they would be able to carry on with further action. We did not carry so much cash so we had to go find an ATM.

"We then paid the hospital RM2,700 (around S$858) and they finally conducted scans on the victims. It took about four hours before we were given a prognosis.

"At 8.30am, the hospital requested for another RM1,350 as Justinian needed another operation because his brain was bleeding.''

Joshua and his other friends later called the Singapore embassy, who arranged for a private ambulance in Malaysia to send the victims back to Singapore.

However, by the time Justinian reached the Singapore General Hospital, ten hours had passed since the accident.

Doctors told the victim's family that too much time had passed and that his injuries were too severe, pronouncing him brain dead.

According to The Star, Johor has launched an investigation to look into the incident.

Johor Health, Environment, Education and Information Committee chairman Datuk Ayub Rahmat urged the public to allow investigations to proceed "before accusing any parties of anything".

The Malaysian publication also reported that "attempts to obtain a comment from the hospital failed as the telephone operator said that the person in charge was on a break and could not be reached."