No solid evidence to charge minister Khairuddin who skipped home quarantine, law minister tells Parliament

Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali is seen at the Parliament August 26, 2020. — Bernama pic
Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali is seen at the Parliament August 26, 2020. — Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18 — De facto law minister Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan has told Parliament that no charges will be filed against his Cabinet colleague Datuk Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali for failing to undergo home quarantine after coming back from Turkey in July.

Takiyuddin echoed the explanation given by Attorney General (AG) Tan Sri Idrus Harun on the lack of prosecutorial action, saying there is no solid evidence to establish a charge under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 or Act 342 or sub-laws made under it.

"The decision of the Attorney General is in accordance with Clause (3) of Article 145 of the Federal Constitution which provides that the decision to commence, conduct, or terminate any proceedings for an offense is at the discretion of the public prosecutor," Takiyuddin who is a minister in the Prime Minister's Department said in a written parliamentary reply to DAP's Kota Melaka MP Khoo Poay Tiong yesterday.

Khoo had asked for an update on the investigation involving Khairuddin and whether the plantations and commodities minister would be charged in court, just like how the law is applied on members of the public caught violating regulations to prevent spreading Covid-19.

Takiyuddin said the AG had already issued a statement on October 21 on the issue, clarifying that police investigations under Act 342 had been completed and submitted to the AG's Chambers on October 1.

"Subsequently, the results of the AG's Chambers from the evidence point of view found that the Minister (Khairuddin) was never issued Form 14b as provided in the guidelines of the Health Ministry which contains an observation or supervision order under subsection 15 (1) of Act 342 for the Minister to undergo quarantine," Takiyuddin added.

Khairuddin, who is Kuala Nerus MP for PAS, has been under public scrutiny since news broke that he did not undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine for all Malaysians who return from abroad.

On August 22, the Health Ministry said an enforcement officer had issued a compound of RM1,000 to Khairuddin on August 7 over the failure to comply with rules under the 1988 law or Act 342, while also confirming that Khairuddin had paid the compound.

Khairuddin had on August 22 apologised for what he described as an oversight and said he would donate his salary as a minister from May to August 2020 to a national fund for Covid-19.

On October 15, Khairuddin said he had left it to the authorities to investigate his alleged breach of a 14-day mandatory quarantine order, and that he was waiting for the attorney general to announce the outcome of the investigations and whether he would be charged.

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 testing 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.

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