KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 24: The opposition was up in arms in the Dewan Rakyat today over the issue of a federal minister who reportedly failed to undergo self-quarantine after returning from a trip to Turkey.

Deputy Health Minister Noor Azmi Ghazali had reassured MPs that no one was above the law, saying laws are put in place to safeguard the public and the nation.

“If we look at Covid-19, even the king and the prime minister underwent self-isolation.

“Now (Khairuddin) was compounded RM1,000,” he said, referring to Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali.

He said this was the maximum compound provided for under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342).

He also said serious cases would be handled by the police, saying: “It will then depend on the police and lawyers.

“If the case is taken to court, they will make a decision,” he added.

However, members of the opposition were unhappy with his reply and called for sterner action, saying the people were being jailed for breaching Covid-19 rules but not “the minister”.

Mahfuz Omar (PH-Pokok Sena) also noted that Senior Minister for Security Ismail Sabri Yaakob had said that from April onwards, those who breached the rules would be taken to court.

However, Deputy Speaker Rashid Hasnon muted the mics to remind the floor that this was a question-and-answer session, not a debate.

Khairuddin has been under the spotlight since last week, when claims surfaced that he failed to undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine period after returning from a trip to Turkey on July 7.

Malaysians returning from abroad as well as other nationals entering the country must undergo the 14-day quarantine period even if they test negative for Covid-19 upon arrival.

Meanwhile, Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim (BN-Baling) said Khairuddin should be praised for bringing millions in revenue to the country.

“He should be praised, not criticised,” he told Mahfuz, adding that Khairuddin had been trying to save the country following the dip in commodity prices under Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s administration.

“He (Mahathir) was fighting with everyone, causing prices to drop,” he said, referring to the former prime minister’s criticism of India over the Kashmir issue.

Special Functions Minister Redzuan Yusof also denied the existence of double standards as Khairuddin had paid the RM1,000 compound required by law.


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