KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 19 — Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali was tested for Covid-19 upon his return from Turkey, a source close to the minister said.
According to Sinar Harian, the person also asserted that the test cleared the PAS leader of infection.
“His trip abroad was with the permission of Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Turkey at the time was still categorised as a green zone country,” the person was quoted as saying.
The source did not explain why Khairuddin was exempted from the quarantine but said the minister will issue a statement about the matter soon.
Malaysia has imposed a mandatory 14-day medical quarantine for all returnees.
Returnees are tested on arrival and those with negative results must then serve out their 14-day quarantine while those testing positive are sent to a hospital for further treatment.
They are tested again on the 13th day of their quarantine and are only released upon a negative Covid-19 result.
A breach of this order is punishable under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 by up to two years’ imprisonment, a fine, or both upon conviction.
Yesterday, Khairuddin’s predecessor, Seputeh MP Teresa Kok, pointed out that the minister was already back in Parliament on July 13 despite only returning to Malaysia six days prior.
She said this was a clear breach of the standard operating procedures introduced to contain Covid-19 infections in Malaysia.
Former deputy health minister Dr Lee Boon Chye also joined in asking why the minister was not made to undergo quarantine, pointing out Covid-19 was severe in Turkey that has already encountered over 250,000 cases and 6,000 deaths.