Khairulrijal Sri Gading

Tagline : Malaysia Today / Malaysia Terkini / Utusan / Berita Hari Ini

The No. 1 Lady detective in Bangkok now becoming a true Malaysian hero. Who is Dr. Pornthip Rojanasunand?

Posted by Emg Trading & Services on 22 October, 2009

Khunying Pornthip Rojanasunand M.D. (sometimes transliterated as Porntip Rojanasunan, RTGS: Phonthip Rotchanasunan; born: 21 December 1955) is a Thai forensic pathologist, author and human rights activist. She has repeatedly publicly stated that she has come across evidence of police abuses during her work.

Pornthip presently is Director of the Central Institute of Forensic Science, Ministry of Justice, in Bangkok and introduced DNA evidence to Thailand.

Before her public criticism, autopsies of victims of alleged police abuse were carried out in the police’s own forensic institute; this has since changed.

 During the anti-drug campaign by the government of Thaksin Shinawatra in early 2003, more than 1,000 people vanished or were killed; Pornthip has shown that several of these deaths were caused by police.  

She has written several books about her work. The most prominent pathologist in Thailand, she gets regular media coverage with her allegations of abuse, and by her own admission, her unorthodox appearance: punk-rock hair dyed purplish red,[1] eccentric clothing and glittery eye makeup, and platform shoes.[2] The Thai English-language newspaper The Nation chose Pornthip, along with Chuwit Kamolvisit and Chote Wattanachet, as persons of the year for 2003. She was honored by King Bhumibol Adulyadej with the title “Khunying”.  

In the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, Pornthip took charge of the effort to identify victims of the tsunami in the Phang Nga region.[3] She and her team were widely praised for their hard work and dedication, but on January 13, 2005 Police General Nopadol Somboonsab complained that the police’s identification centre in Phuket should have charge of all identification operations. Many commentators and Pornthip herself attributed the late intervention to Nopadol’s personal vendetta against her.[4] Nopadol was ultimately successful, and the Phang Nga operation was closed down on February 3, 2005.[5]

The 2005 National Geographic documentary Crime Scene Bangkok (2004) tells her life story and covers her work in Phang Nga after the tsunami and her battle with the police.[6] In June 2009, she was one of the pathologists investigating the death of actor David Carradine.[7]

In October 2009, she concluded that Malaysian Democratic Action Party employee Teoh Beng Hock, who had been detained by the Malaysian federal Government’s Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission had an 80% probability of murdered. [8]








^ Goodnough, Abby (January 16, 2005). “Thai Doctor Fashions a Life Working Among the Dead”. The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-06-05.

^ Mydans, Seth (April 13, 2002). “On Death’s Trail, a Detective Larger Than Life”. The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-06-05.

^ O’Donnell, Lynne (January 5, 2005). “Devoted Doctor Takes On Her Toughest Challenge: She’s Trying To ID Thousands of Victims”. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-06-05.

^ VICTIM IDENTIFICATION: Compromise reached over forensic task, The Nation, 16 January 2005

^ Unidentified Western bodies to be moved, The Nation, 25 January 2005

^ Crime Scene Bangkok (2004) at

^ “Carradine Death ‘Erotic Asphyxiation'”. Bangkok Post. June 6, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-05.

^ “Teoh’s death 80% homicide: Thai forensics expert”. MalaysiaKini. October 21, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-22.


One Response to “The No. 1 Lady detective in Bangkok now becoming a true Malaysian hero. Who is Dr. Pornthip Rojanasunand?”

  1. khairulrijal said

    Additional comments:

    Doctor Pornthip is no ordinary forensic pathologist, she is reknowned for making her findings without fear or favour. Remember the incident in South Thailand where hundreds of young Muslims died? It was Doctor Pornthip, who dare to take on Thaksin, with her no holds barred findings, on the cause of the death of so many young Muslim men. It is therefore no wonder that Dr. Pornthip is disliked by the many majority Thais because of her findings which she put forth without fear or favour.

    We salute Dr. Pornthip for her total professionalism and we thank the Selangor State Government in bringing in reknown professionals like Dr. Pornthip, to crack cases, which normal Malaysians cannot solve. At least,as a layman, what we want is a more transparent in Malaysia.

    Dr. Pornthip, through her professional self, had clarified that she is not here to embarass the Federal Government and the Police or those in the medical profession, but, only to do her job, as she is employed to do so. Let us, Malaysians, let her do the job without fear or favour and without harassments from any organizations! Let the truth prevail!

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