Double Standards Not to Penalise Minister for Breaking Quarantine

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Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali should be penalised for flouting the quarantine rule upon his return from Turkey, said Seputeh MP Teresa Kok.

The DAP rep said the National Security Council must not practise “double standards” in enforcing the law but take Khairuddin to court for skipping quarantine.

Khairuddin is reported to have skipped quarantine after testing negative for Covid-19 on his arrival from Turkey on July 7. He attended parliament on July 13.

“Many Malaysians and foreigners entering the country have been put under 14 days of quarantine even after testing negative for Covid-19.

Kamal Ariffin/TMI

“Why is there special treatment for the minister,” she asked in a statement today.

Kok, who previously held Khairuddin’s portfolio, said the authorities had taken to court those who had flouted the rules, including 72-year-old Nur Emas Mohamad Hashim, who was jailed for a day and fined RM8,000.

Kok said Khairuddin’s aide had told reporters that Turkey was a green zone, meaning it was coronavirus-free, but statistics showed that was not the case.

According to the website, there were 186,089 active cases in Turkey as of July 6.

The minister returned on July 7.

She said Khairuddin’s presence in parliament and at many meetings and events had exposed many others who had attended these events to the risk of Covid -19 virus.

All travellers are tested on arrival and must undergo isolation for two weeks even if they test negative for the virus. Those who are found to be infected are sent to the hospital for treatment.

Breaching the order is punishable by up to two years’ imprisonment, a fine, or both upon conviction.

Meanwhile, DAP lawmaker Lim Lip Eng has demanded an explanation from Khairuddin for not adhering to the Covid-19 standard operating procedure (SOP).

“We will give the minister until the end of today to explain why we should not lodge a police report against him for violating the required SOP,” Lim Lip Eng told Malaysiakini this afternoon.

The minister, according to news reports quoting a source close to him, underwent a special Covid-19 test upon returning home on July 7 following a visit to Turkey.

Shafwan Zaidon

His overseas trip, said the source, was approved by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, and Turkey was categorised as a green zone country at the time.

However, during Khairuddin’s visit, Turkey had recorded more than 5,600 new Covid-19 cases and 93 deaths.

The country had more than 250,000 Covid-19 cases and 6,061 fatalities from the disease in total, calling the green zone claim into question.

‘Shouldn’t the minister be jailed and fined as well?’

Though tested negative, Lim said, the minister should have undergone quarantine as the virus can take up to 14 days to manifest.

He pointed out that Muhyiddin and former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad underwent quarantine after coming into contact with Covid-19 positive individuals.

“Why was Khairuddin given extra special treatment?” he added.

The Kepong MP also noted how the restaurant operator responsible for the Sivaganga cluster in Kedah had tested negative upon his return, but was later found to be positive.

The Alor Setar Magistrate’s Court subsequently sentenced the restaurant operator to five months’ jail and RM12,000 fine for not observing home quarantine, which resulted in the virus spreading.

Hari Anggara

“Should not the minister be also liable for five months’ jail and RM12,000 fine like the restaurant owner in Kubang Pasu who broke home quarantine rules?” asked Lim, who is a lawyer.