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Malaysian court reduces compensation to RM123,000 for 22-year-old man after botched circumcision left him disfigured

A young Malaysian man, who endured a life-altering botched circumcision 13 years ago, saw his compensation significantly reduced by the Malaysian Court of Appeal (CoA). Initially awarded RM3.1 million in damages by the High Court in April 2022, his compensation was revised to RM123,556 (approximately $35,809.75) by the CoA.

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MALAYSIA: In a recent development, a young Malaysian man who suffered a life-altering botched circumcision procedure 13 years ago has had his compensation drastically reduced by the Court of Appeal (CoA).

The victim, now 22 years old, had initially been awarded RM3.1 million (US$660,000) in damages by the High Court in April 2022, following a successful lawsuit against the Malaysian government and four other defendants.

However, in an unanimous decision, the three-judge panel led by Judge Datuk Ravintharan Paramaguru considered the amount to be “too high.”

Consequently, they adjusted the compensation to RM123,556 (equivalent to approximately US$35,809.75), as disclosed by China Press.

The CoA’s decision cited concerns about the lack of proper documentation supporting the original RM2 million in general damages, which was reduced to RM100,000.

Additionally, special damages were reduced from RM108,356 to RM23,556.

“As for the RM1 million in severe and exemplary damages awarded by the High Court, this court has set it aside as it wasn’t stated in the pleadings and had no basis for it to be given.

“However, the RM100,000 in costs will be upheld,” said Judge Ravintharan, who had judges Datuk See Mee Chun and Mohamed Zaini Mazlan present while delivering the verdict via Zoom.

Victim had a botched circumcision at the age of 10

The incident, which took place in December 2010 at Kuala Lipis Hospital during a circumcision procedure, left the young man disfigured, as the entire head of his penis was accidentally severed, NST reported.

A crucial delay of 10 hours in transferring him to Selayang Hospital, where micro surgeons were available, dashed any hopes of reattachment.

High Court Judge Datuk Akhtar Tahir, in his written judgement, emphasized that the defendants had failed to exercise due care, resulting in the victim’s loss of “the most valuable asset a man can have.”

He also noted the profound psychological impact the victim had to suffered as a result.

“It is clear that no amount of financial award given by the Court will compensate the loss suffered by the plaintiff. All the shame and humiliation the plaintiff suffers is a result of this terrible loss.

“The mother had testified that since the age of 10 the plaintiff has entered into a shell and finds it hard to interact with others let alone develop courage to ever marry,” he added.

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