PKR Youth has urged the New Zealand government to extradite Deputy Federal Territories Minister Edmund Santhara to Malaysia if the latter is found to have broken local laws.
It also wanted an explanation as to why the politician could enter and remain in the country for an extended period of time.
Santhara previously said he underwent quarantine in New Zealand on Dec 24, 2020, and had managed to obtain 55 days’ leave from Putrajaya to visit family members there.
It has been 83 days since Dec 24. The Segamat MP’s whereabouts are presently unknown.
“Edmund Santhara needs to be investigated and extradited back to Malaysia if he has been found to have violated any laws or Covid-19 immigrations rules in New Zealand.
“The New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade must explain the protocol, rules and agreements that it gave for a Malaysian deputy minister to be able to travel to New Zealand,” he told a press conference this morning.
Elaborating, the Batu MP urged the New Zealand government to disclose what guidelines it had imposed on Santhara when he entered the country on Christmas Eve.
“We submit this memorandum on behalf of the Malaysian public, especially for Segamat residents.
“The economic effects of the Covid-19 epidemic have caused many families in Malaysia to lose jobs and sources of income. Not only that, but many have also not been able to travel abroad to visit their children and family members, including those in New Zealand.
“Therefore, we want further explanation on how Santhara was not only able to leave Malaysia but also allowed to be with his family in New Zealand for 55 days,” he said.
Prabakaran regretted that he was not able to discuss this issue in the Dewan Rakyat as Parliament remained suspended during the emergency.
The memorandum was received by the high commission’s policy and public affairs officer Cameron Evans.
Reportedly, Santhara is expected to return this Saturday (Mar 20).
Meanwhile, it was revealed by New Zealand Minister for Covid-19 Response Chris Hipkins in a written reply to National Party MP Chris Bishop that Santhara did not seek emergency allocation in New Zealand’s limited Covid-19 quarantine scheme.
Bishop had asked Hipkins if Santhara was granted an emergency allocation and if true, under what category and when was the application filed.
“No. I am advised that Mr Edmund Santhara did not apply for an emergency allocation,” said Hipkins in reply.
New Zealand has a “managed isolation and quarantine” scheme that can accommodate 6,260 people.
Bishop, an opposition lawmaker, had urged the government to clarify whether Santhara was given special treatment since many New Zealanders are finding it difficult to get a quarantine space.
Bishop has also filed several other questions to the New Zealand minister of foreign affairs and the minister of immigration.
Among others, Bishop wanted to know if the Foreign Affairs Ministry received any correspondence from the Malaysian High Commission on Santhara obtaining a space in managed isolation.
Bishop also wanted to know about Santhara’s immigration status in New Zealand.