KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 24 — Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has called for an investigation and action by authorities against Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali for breaking Covid-19 quarantine regulations.
In a brief statement, Muhyiddin said that no Malaysian is above the law, and that the Perikatan Nasional government stands firm by this principle.
“In relation to that, I hand it over to the relevant authorities to carry out thorough investigations and to take the appropriate action according to the processes of the law,” he said.
Khairuddin’s predecessor Teresa Kok had exposed the minister’s visit to Turkey said to have taken place between July 3 and July 7, after he showed up in Parliament on July 13, eight days shy of the 14-day mandatory quarantine period.
Khairuddin had then defended himself, saying he had been tested thrice since returning from Turkey, with all screenings coming back negative.
Last week, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the minister should have been quarantined as it was compulsory to do so and that an investigation will be conducted to find out why this did not happen.
Under the National Security Council’s SOP, all returnees are tested on arrival and those with negative results must then serve out their 14-day quarantine, while those who test positive are sent to a hospital for further treatment.
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.
A source close to the minister previously had claimed Mohd Khairuddin went to Turkey with the prime minister’s approval and that the country had been in the “green zone” at the time.
On Saturday, the Health Ministry announced the PAS minister was fined RM1,000 on July 7 which he had paid, triggering public uproar over the leniency of his fine.
Mohd Khairuddin then issued a public apology on the same day for breaching the quarantine rules, adding how he would donate five months’ worth of salary to a fund to fight Covid-19, before Muhyiddin’s announcement today.