PARLIAMENT | The discontent over Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali’s quarantine violation has been brought into the Dewan Rakyat today with several opposition MPs taking turns to press the issue of alleged unequal treatment accorded to the Perikatan Nasional minister.
Khairuddin (above), who is the plantation industries and commodities minister, was previously fined RM1,000 for breaching the mandatory 14-day quarantine requirements after he returned from Turkey on July 7.
Mahfuz Omar (Harapan-Pokok Sena) was one of the MPs to raise the issue during the question-and-answer session, saying that the perception is that there is a double standard in the enforcement of the law.
“It is as if there is a double standard. The pink wristband makcik and Haji Salleh were punished, but the minister was protected, only compounded RM1,000 when his violation, I was told, he attended at least five programmes,” Mahfuz said in Parliament.
He was cut off by Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim (BN-Baling), who claimed that Khairuddin had gone to Turkey to “save the country” and had brought in RM82 billion worth of investments.
Khairuddin did not appear to be in the Dewan Rakyat today as the questions directed towards his ministry were answered by Wee instead.
Mahfuz had raised this issue while Special Functions Minister Redzuan Yusof was replying to a question on compliance of standard operating procedure (SOP).
Redzuan then stressed that there were no double standards and that Khairuddin had paid the RM1,000 compound in accordance with the law.
In response, Mahfuz said Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob had said in April that those breaching SOP would be brought to court immediately, instead of being compounded.
Redzuan said any questions on what Ismail stated should be directed towards the defence minister himself.
Another opposition MP who brought up Khairuddin’s breach of quarantine was Lim Lip Eng (Harapan-Kepong) who interrupted P Prabakaran (Harapan-Batu) in the midst of his debate on The Temporary Measures for Government Financing (Coronavirus Disease 2019 [Covid-19]) Bill 2020.
Lim questioned what was the purpose of this bill if there was a minister who “purposely violated” a law related to Covid-19.
“Shouldn’t this House urge the minister to resign from his position?” he asked.
Other MPs who also brought up this issue earlier during the question-and-answer session included Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad (Harapan-Setiawangsa) and Khalid Samad (Harapan-Shah Alam).
Khairuddin has faced criticism from both sides over his breach of quarantine, including from Umno supreme council member Mohd Puad Zarkashi.
Puad had taken issue with those who reacted positively to Khairuddin pledging to donate four months of his wages to Putrajaya’s Covid-19 fund as penance. Puad said this could set a bad precedent.
He also called for legal action to be taken against Khairuddin.
Though Khairuddin attempted to defend himself by saying he tested negative for Covid-19, some have criticised the seeming double standards in the enforcement of the law.