Ismail visiting parents’ graves triggers angry reactions over ‘double standards’

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Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob returned to his hometown Temerloh, Pahang today – during which he visited the graves of his parents.

However, while it seemed innocent, the visit triggered angry reactions on social media over what some believed to be a double standard.

An Astro Awani tweet on the visit was met with over 1,000 responses, most of which were critical of the prime minister.

“Two freaking years I have never got a chance to visit mum’s grave! Two freaking years!” an enraged Twitter user with the handle edwsells said in response to the article.

Another user who goes by Ainaa also questioned the prime minister’s visit.

“Isn’t visiting (graves) not allowed? It has been a long time since I visited my father’s grave, please give me permission to do so.

“The last time I went was during the fasting month just before the MCO,” Ainaa said.

Many also claimed that if a regular person were to visit a grave, they would be slapped with fines.

A check on the current standard operating procedures from the National Security Council (NSC) found that there is no explicit ban on visiting graves.

However, the SOPs during Aidilfitri and Aidiladha celebrations in May and July did ban visiting graves during those periods.

On July 21, a man from Jempol, Negeri Sembilan was fined RM2,000 for visiting a grave.

NSC director-general Rodzi Md Saad clarified with Harian Metro that grave visits outside of the festive season are allowed.

“Outside of the festive seasons, visiting graves is not an issue and is allowed.

“What is important is that those visiting graves must ensure physical distancing and must wear a mask,” Rodzi said. – Malaysiakini