The Health Ministry has issued a RM1,000 fine to Plantation, Industries, and Commodities Minister Khairuddin Aman Razali for violating quarantine rules, following an outcry from the opposition and Malaysians in social media.
In a statement today, Health Minister Adham Baba said the compound is imposed on Khairuddin on August 7 under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342).
Adham said the minister has paid the RM1,000.
“Khairuddin returned from Turkey on July 7. The first nasopharyngeal swab was taken on the same day and tested negative,” he said.
“The second and third Covid-19 screening also came back negative.
“Because Khairuddin had breached the rules under Act 342, the authorised officer had issued a compound of RM1,000 to him on August 7. He has paid the compound.”
Khairuddin is accused of not observing the mandatory 14-day quarantine after returning from Turkey last month, as stipulated by the National Security Council.
Overseas returnees are tested on arrival for the virus and again two weeks later.
Khairuddin said he was tested three times for Covid-19 since his trip, most recently on Monday.
Malaysians were outraged at the perceived double standards being accorded to the minister, questioning on social media whether there were different sets of laws for ministers and ordinary citizens.
Earlier today, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng had questioned if Khairuddin was fit for his role in the cabinet after he violated quarantine rules.
Lim also took the minister to task for refusing to own up to his wrongdoing.
“Not only did Khairuddin refused to own up to his wrongdoing but, his response that he will leave it to the Health Ministry smacked of arrogance and irresponsibility.”
Lim compared the situation with that of the former Irish Agriculture Minister Dara Calleary, who resigned two days after attending a dinner by the Irish parliamentary golf society where Covid-19 safety protocols were ignored.
He added that Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah has led by example, observing quarantine after one of the palace staff tested positive for Covid-19 in March.
“If the king can comply with Covid-19 safety protocols despite enjoying legal immunity, why not Khairuddin? Or does Khairuddin enjoy a special status?” he said.