Under fire deputy speaker Rashid apologises for attending durian party recently as seen in viral video

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Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon has admitted to attending a durian party recently as shown in a video clip that went viral on social media.

The Batu Pahat MP apologised and promised to give his full cooperation to the police in their investigation of the matter.

“I am sorry about the confusion when some members of the media contacted me about the video. I answered their questions without properly checking it.

“After my audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on Tuesday (June 29), I had the opportunity to analyse the video,” he said in a statement on Wednesday (June 30).

He had said earlier that the durian feast was held last year before the first movement control order (MCO) was imposed on March 18.

Rashid added that from the time of the first MCO until the current Phase 1 of the National Recovery Plan, he had received complaints from smallholders, as well as vegetable and fruit growers who had difficulty selling their crops.

He added that the viral video was taken during his visit to a durian orchard run by the local community.

“Coincidentally, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin made a working visit to Batu Pahat, where we gifted durians to her entourage to bring back home.

“After the entourage left, I was then brought to a durian orchard in the afternoon to listen to the farmers’ problems,” he said.

Rashid said when he arrived at the orchard, the farmer served them durian and he had a taste before discussing aid measures for them.

He added that he left the programme early because he needed to return to Kuala Lumpur.

On Tuesday (June 29), police said they would be calling up Rashid to help with investigations, after a video allegedly showing him eating durian with a group of people at a farm in the district went viral on social media.

Batu Pahat OCPD Asst Comm Ismail Dollah said a police report had been lodged and one investigation paper was opened.

“The case is being investigated under Section 18(1) of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 2021.

“Police will be calling up the Batu Pahat MP and anyone who is involved in the video to help with the investigation,” he said.

ACP Ismail added that members of the public should refrain from making speculation that could hinder the investigation process.

The 13-second video shows a group of people eating durian at a farm without any physical distancing and some are not wearing face masks.

Rashid is the latest ruling party politician to have incurred public anger over SOP breaches.

Last week, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mustapa Mohamed apologised for violating MCO SOP by eating at a café in his constituency in Jeli, Kelantan.

He said he would let police investigate the matter.

Gatherings are banned under the total lockdown due to Covid-19.