KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 23 — Umno supreme council member Mohd Puad Zarkashi today said stricter action must be taken against Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Datuk Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali over his failure to adhere to home quarantine after he returned from a trip abroad
He said the RM1,000 fine given to Khairuddin was not enough as punishment adding that the low fine reflects badly on the Ministry of Health (MOH) as it implies double standards in implementing the law.
“Khairuddin has offered to return up to four months’ worth of salaries. That’s not a small amount, it’s akin to an admission of guilt and shame.
“The weird thing is MOH is showing him double standards. The compound fine given to him is too low and unfair. It is destroying MOH’s name,” Puad posted on his Facebook page yesterday.
Puad questioned Khairuddin’s motive when he broke the quarantine as he is an educated man, has a high post in the Cabinet and an Islamist.
Prior to the fine, Khairuddin had been up in arms against his detractors and defended the infringement by saying he had undergone three tests with all the results coming back negative.
MOH had slapped the plantation industries and commodities minister with a RM1,000 compound for failing to observe rules under Act 342 of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures within the Infected Local Areas).
Khairuddin was tested once when he returned from Turkey on July 7 and screened twice after, the MOH said in a statement announcing the penalty.
Both screening tests were negative.
But MOH has enforced the mandatory home-quarantine order for all returnees even if they tested negative for Covid-19, which the PAS leader failed to observe.
“There are two big issues here. First is he broke the 14-day mandatory quarantine period for all overseas returnees and secondly, the compound fine seems to be enforced on a whim,” added Puad.
“In the end the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government will be the one blamed for showing double standards and they will say there is political interference and that the government is incapable.
“So don’t use MOH to ‘cover line’. Khairuddin should be prosecuted in Court,” he said.
Khairuddin failed to observe the mandatory 14-day quarantine order upon returning to Malaysia after travelling to Turkey last month.
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 to find out why this did not happen.