Noor Azmi: No Double Standard on Those Who Breach Covid-19 SOP

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Deputy Health Minister Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali says there will be no double standard when it comes to punishing those who flout Covid-19 standard operating procedure (SOP), including top government officials.

Commenting on the issue concerning Plantation, Industries, and Commodities Minister Khairuddin Aman Razali, who was accused of violating the 14-day quarantine order after returning from Turkey last month, Noor Azmi said no one will get away if it’s proven that they have broken the law.

“In this case, there is no double standard. No VIP will get off scot-free, while ordinary folk are punished.

“No VIP will be spared arrest while ordinary folk are handcuffed,” he was quoted as saying by Sinar Harian.

Khairuddin had responded to the matter by saying that the Health Ministry would issue a statement over it.

“Just wait for the statement, including the official results of the Health Ministry’s Covid-19 test.

“As a responsible cabinet minister, I will abide by any statement issued by the Health Ministry,” he had said.

Previously, the Kuala Nerus MP confirmed with the media that he had taken a Covid-19 test upon arrival at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) after his trip to Turkey and that he had attended the Dewan Rakyat sitting on July 13.

Speaking to reporters today, Khairuddin said that the fact he was allowed entry into the Palace on Aug 17 proved that he had tested negative for Covid-19.

“It is mandatory to take a swab test before being allowed to enter the Palace,” he was quoted as saying by The Star.

For the record, at the time of Khairuddin’s work visit to Turkey from July 3 to 7, more than 5,600 new Covid-19 cases and 93 deaths were reported there.

The West Asian country has had over 250,000 Covid-19 infections and 6,061 fatalities from the disease in total.

Seputeh MP Teresa Kok had claimed that Khairuddin had attended at least 12 programmes and meetings after he returned from Turkey.

Commenting further, Noor Azmi said that the government will conduct a transparent investigation and take necessary action against anyone found breaching the SOP, including ministers.

Referring to himself, Noor Azmi said he was also punished after violating the movement control order (MCO).

“I myself had to pay a RM1,000 fine. I think the government has to be transparent in its probe and take necessary action. Nobody will then get away,” he added.

Noor Azmi was investigated for breaching the MCO after he posted a series of photographs online showing him and his entourage visiting a religious school in Lenggong, Perak on April 17.

Meanwhile, PKR Youth legal bureau chief Chiew Choon Man urged Khairuddin to apologise publicly and resign from his ministerial post.

“The minister should follow the New Zealand health minister and Ghana deputy minister who resigned after being criticised for flouting the quarantine order.

“The prime minister could also sack Khairuddin to show the government’s commitment in tackling the Covid-19 pandemic,” Chiew added. – Malaysiakini