Wan Junaidi: Govt still functioning despite ministers under home quarantine, PM issuing daily orders

Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Ministry Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar speaks during an interview at the Bernama headquarters in Kuala Lumpur April 1, 2020. — Bernama pic
Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Ministry Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar speaks during an interview at the Bernama headquarters in Kuala Lumpur April 1, 2020. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 7 — Two federal ministers have dispelled the notion that the Cabinet’s work or government affairs would be halted with several ministers and the prime minister now under Covid-19 quarantine at home, a report has said.

Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, who is entrepreneur and cooperatives development minister, reportedly said that the ministers’ work has not been interrupted despite the suspension of physical meetings for the Cabinet.

“The Cabinet has not stopped functioning as affected ministers are all working from home.

“The prime minister is still giving us daily instructions from his end and we are carrying out our daily ministerial duties,” he was quoted saying by local daily The Star.

Wan Junaidi also reportedly said that almost half of ministerial instructions are carried out through circulars, while noting that the Prime Minister’s Office is mulling holding Cabinet meetings via video conferencing.

Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, who is works minister, was also quoted saying that ministers are able to carry out work “through digital platforms and by way of instructions issued through circulars”.

According to The Star, Wan Junaidi is not included in the list of ministers asked to be on self-quarantine, while Fadillah is one of the ministers that was asked to go on self-quarantine from October 3 until October 16.

On October 5, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah announced that an individual who attended an October 3 meeting at the Prime Minister’s Department had tested positive for Covid-19, and that this individual did not display any symptoms during the meeting. Dr Noor Hisham did not name this individual.

 The Health Ministry has been practising the policy of not naming Covid-19 patients.

Shortly after Dr Noor Hisham’s announcement, Zulkifli himself confirmed on his official Facebook page that he had tested positive for Covid-19, and also urged those who had attended any events he had attended between September 24 and  October 4 to immediately undergo Covid-19 screening.

The October 3 meeting in Putrajaya was a special National Security Council meeting on Covid-19, with those present including the prime minister, ministers and other key officials.

On October 5, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin confirmed that attendees of the October 3 meeting were asked to undergo self-quarantine, but gave the assurance that government affairs will not be disrupted as he will continue to work from home and use video conferencing for meetings that he has to chair.

Yesterday, Muhyiddin in a special address broadcasted nationwide said that there are no double standards in compliance with quarantine orders, noting that seven ministers and six deputy ministers are also undergoing home quarantine like him for 14 days and will not be exempted from punishment if they flout the rules.

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