KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 22 — Datuk Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali said yesterday he has been tested three times for Covid-19 since his controversial trip to Turkey last month — and the results have all come back negative.
According to The Star news portal, the plantation industries and commodity minister said the first two tests were carried out upon his return to Malaysia on July 7, and then 13 days later.
He took the third test recently, ahead of an event at Istana Negara on August 17.
Khairuddin was quoted as saying that the fact he was allowed entry into Istana Negara proved that he had tested negative for Covid-19, adding that he would have been denied entry otherwise.
“It is mandatory to take a swab test before being allowed to enter the Palace,” he told The Star.
Khairuddin’s comments come following backlash he received over a recent allegation that he failed to observe the mandatory 14-day quarantine order upon returning to Malaysia after travelling to Turkey last month.
On Tuesday, his predecessor, Seputeh MP Teresa Kok, pointed out that the minister had visited Turkey between July 3 and 7, but was already back in Parliament on July 13.
The following day, 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 into 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 claimed Khairuddin went to Turkey with the prime minister’s approval and that the country had been in the “green zone” at the time.