PMO: Puad Zarkashi’s claim malicious, threatens legal action

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The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has strongly denied claims made by UMNO Supreme Council member Datuk Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi that the three-day quarantine order had been gazetted for ministers returning from official trips abroad solely because the prime minister did not want to be quarantined after his official visit to Indonesia.

In a statement today, the PMO said Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had been handed the home surveillance order and given the observation wristband to wear as soon as he arrived from Jakarta on Feb 5.

The statement said Muhyiddin was now undergoing quarantine at home.

“The slander hurled by Datuk Mohd Puad Zarkashi is malicious and aimed at tarnishing the good name of the Prime Minister,” the statement read.

The PMO said legal action will be taken against Puad if he fails to make a public apology over the matter.

Seth Akmal/TMI

Puad posted on Facebook this morning his criticism of the exemption, which was announced in a gazette by Health Minister Dr Adham Baba yesterday and is effective today.

Instead of undergoing the mandatory 10-day quarantine required of anyone entering Malaysia, ministers are exempted under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342).

They will only be subject to three days of surveillance and observation.

Puad wrote that the exemption for ministers would cause chaos at the airport when Muhyiddin arrived from Jakarta.

He also said this was double standards and that the public deserved an explanation.