Researchers examining a deep peat area where sago to be planted, Dalat, Sarawak.
Rumie Malie (2nd right), a qualified chemical engineer was one of my research officers working at the Sago Research Station, Dalat. He was a dedicated and innovative worker, more on the quiet side though. He was able to put a sago mill that had been closed down for some years into functioning again.
After working on sago for some years he decided to join the Department of Environment based in Kuching when tragedy happened, something like the case of Beng Hock. The cause of death unsolved!
Did Rumie Azzan Mali jumped to his death at his 9th floor DOE office, Kuching in 2005? The case has not been solved after several inquests. Below is part of article (revised) I wrote in NST, Apr 18 2005 titled "Honest and Dedicated Officer".
"... Rumie told me that he wanted to join the Sarawak DOE to further his studies. His father was retiring from the Pejabat Agama Islam, Kuching, and also he wanted to be in Kuching so that his two boys would receive a better education.
I was stunned when I heard the news of his death, especially when it was rumoured that he jumped nine floors from his workplace. Why would a man of principle with a stable family, who had just been to a new working place for some months want to terminate his life? I vouch for his honesty.
A man of his nature is not easily corrupted. Perhaps he stumbled onto something that would put somebody high up into trouble. With his passing there are many questions to be answered in the following investigations and inquests.
The circumstances of his death were mysterious. Not long after his death his director moved from Kuching to Johore Bahru. Was there a conspiracy and cover-up at high places? Were there professional killers paid to do the job? I strongly believed he was murdered.
His family, parents, relatives and circle of friends surely want to clear his name. Only then will part of their sadness fade away."
An office building at the Sago Research Station, Dalat where we were doing trials.
Rumie (rightmost) and his crew of workers.
Rumie (left) talking to a visitor in a sago mill, Mukah. Ah Ho, owner-manager of the mill (Rt).