KUALA LUMPUR - The Health Ministry will work with Home Ministry and police to investigate an allegation a local hospital conspired in an illegal kidney trade.
Health director-general Datuk Dr Hasan Abdul Rahman said they viewed the allegation seriously.
"Malaysia, being a member of the World Health Organisation and a signatory to the Declaration of Istanbul on Organ Trafficking and Transplant Tourism is committed to ensure such illegal practices are not undertaken in this country," he said in a statement.
He said transplants from unrelated donors need to be vetted by the independent Unrelated Transplant Approval Committee appointed by Health director-general before it can be carried out but from records, there were no such requests or applications.
He said kidney transplants in Malaysia were specifically carried out in Kuala Lumpur Hospital, Selayang Hospital, Universiti Malaya Medical Centre and a few private hospitals in the Klang Valley.
"It seems a little far-fetched for such an illegal activity, especially involving foreigners, have been carried out in any of these hospitals. However, if there are evidence that it happened, the Ministry will certainly take action against those involved," he said.
Bernama had reported that Malaysia was among several countries in the radar of the Bangladeshi police who are on the trail of an international syndicate linked to illegal kidney trade across several Southeast Asian countries.
The report said investigators have identified a reputed international hospital with branches in key regions and capitals, including a hospital in Malaysia, to have been involved in the illegal business.
Initial investigations revealed donors from remote villages in Bangladesh were flown to the regions to sell their kidneys.
Bangladeshi police have detained eight people in connection with luring the poor illiterate victims overseas for the trade.