An open letter to Khairuddin Razali ― Dharm Navaratnam

AUGUST 29 ― Dear Khairuddin,

It is somewhat disheartening to read reports in the media where you say you have done nothing wrong in regard to breaching the quarantine SOPs. You have been reported as saying that you have done nothing wrong with regard to your job and it was simply an error with following the SOP.

I am sorry, dear minister, but I beg to differ and I believe many of the rakyat feel the same way. You blatantly ignored the rules. You chose to do this in direct violation of the MCO Standard Operating Procedures. These are procedures put into place to help safeguard the rakyat. These are procedures put into place by the government of which you are part of. You chose to ignore these SOPs and have thus broken the law. How can you now claim do have done nothing wrong?

Regardless of what the police may find, the fact of the matter is that you contravened the SOPs. You are giving the impression to the rakyat that it is alright to ignore the said SOPs. You are not following the rules that have been put in place by the government of the day.  The very same government that you are a part of. How do you expect the rakyat to follow rules when you are quite happy to break it?  Not only that, but you come out publicly to say you have done nothing wrong.

What if you didn't test negative for Covid-19? What if you did indeed infect a whole number of people with Covid-19? The SOPs are put in place for a reason. If you can claim that breaking it is acceptable, what is to stop so many other from taking the same approach?

By claiming you have done nothing wrong, you are condoning a system of double standards. Others have been charged for breaking quarantine and have been jailed and fined. Why do you feel you should be treated differently?  How can you even try to claim that you have done nothing wrong?  You are wrong, plain and simple. Don't try to hide from that fact. As a minister, you should be held to a higher level of accountability than anyone else. Nothing less. You cannot expect or condone preferential treatment.

By breaking quarantine, you have shown a complete disregard for the law that is in place. A law that was put into place to protect the rakyat. You have shown arrogance in claiming that you have done nothing wrong.  Hiding behind the statement that you did nothing wrong with regard to your job is akin to saying that committing a crime, not related to your job, is perfectly acceptable. It is not.

You broke the rules. You chose to disobey the law. You have blatantly ignored rules that your own government has put into place. No matter how you choose to spin it, you are wrong. That's right, wrong. There are no two ways about it. The only honourable thing left to do is to resign. We do not need ministers that have no regard for the law. It not only puts the government in a bad light but the country as a whole in a bad light as well. If our leaders refuse to follow the law and make excuses, how can you expect the rakyat to follow the law? 

Perhaps what this means is that you just don't have any honour. Or perhaps you think that you are above the law.

Do the right thing. Resign.

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or organisation and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.

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