Dewan Rakyat speaker Azhar Harun has rejected a motion for an urgent debate on Plantations and Commodities Minister Khairuddin Aman Razali’s action of skipping quarantine.
Azhar, in a letter sighted by Malaysiakini, said the matter was not urgent as Khairuddin had already been issued an RM1,000 compound and that police investigations were now ongoing.
The speaker was replying to Hassan Karim (Harapan-Pasir Gudang), who wrote in on Monday seeking an urgent debate on the matter.
Khairuddin had returned from a trip to Turkey on July 7. However, he did not undergo the mandatory home quarantine as required by the government at the time and instead attended several events including the Parliament sitting on July 13.
Hassan argued that the matter should be debated as Khairuddin had violated standard operating procedures under the recovery movement control order.
He said this was also a matter of public interest, as the compound issued to the minister gave the impression of a double standard application of the law, as others who defied quarantine were sentenced to much heftier fines in court.
Hassan attempted to appeal the rejection in the Dewan Rakyat today, while Deputy Speaker Rashid Hasnon was presiding.
Citing the standing orders, Rashid said Hassan must write in if he wants to review the speaker’s decision.
Health Ministry director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah had explained that the RM1,000 compound was the maximum allowed under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act.
However, he stressed that the matter was still being investigated by the police.
Noor Hisham said there has also been a proposal to raise the maximum compound to RM10,000 and that this has been submitted to the Parliament.
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has also assured that the law will be applied equally to everyone. – Malaysiakini