A funeral service company in the capital, which manages the repatriation process of foreigners’ bodies or ashes abroad, has appealed to the government to simplify the procedures for the process.

KL Funeral Services managing director, S. Paramasarathy, said that his company, which has more than 35 years of experience in funerals and the delivery of bodies abroad, is now facing problems obtaining permits on weekends.

Paramasarathy, who is better known as Appu, said that previously the permit regarding the matter in the capital was issued by the Health and Environment Department of the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), which operates daily from morning to evening.

However, Appu claimed that since last year, the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya Health Department has taken over the responsibility, and permits are only issued on Mondays to Thursdays.

“Previously permits were issued for seven days, until midnight, but now there are only four days a week, from Monday to Thursday,” he told Bernama TV in a special interview recently.

He said if there is a death of a foreigner on Friday to Sunday, the body cannot be repatriated on Saturday or Sunday but instead has to wait until Monday.

Appu explained that the move has delayed the process and caused an increase in the number of bodies being kept at his company's premises at Jalan Klang Lama.

“It is troublesome for all parties, not only for us, but also for the embassy and for the next of kin, who are waiting for the body in the country of origin. After all, the frequency of flights has now returned to normal.

“If there is a new procedure, it needs to be improved for the good of all parties. How many bodies can we keep and the family members in their country must wait to receive the remains, to be managed according to their respective customs,” he added.

He said the remains of Muslim foreigners should be repatriated as soon as possible to their country of origin, but the delay in the permit issuance meant that they had to be stored for several weeks before being sent.

Appu said his company had lodged a complaint with the Public Complaints Bureau and the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya Health Department, and was informed that one of the constraints faced was the lack of staff.

He also claimed that the issue did not arise in other states, especially in Selangor, Pahang and Negeri Sembilan, which border Kuala Lumpur, and hoped that the Ministry of Health would give due attention to the matter.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency