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AGC Says No Further Action Against Minister Khairuddin On Grounds Of Insufficient Evidence

In August, the Ministry of Health (MOH) had fined the Plantations and Commodities Minister RM1,000, stating that he had failed to adhere to the regulations under Act 342.

Cover image via Shafwan Zaidon/Malay Mail

Earlier today, 21 October, the Attorney General's Chambers (AGC) decided to not take action against Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Khairuddin Aman Razali for breaching COVID-19 quarantine rules after returning from a trip to Turkey on 7 July

In a media statement, the AGC said that an investigation into a complaint made against Khairuddin in respect of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342) has been completed.

"Our perusal of the investigation paper submitted by the police reveals that the minister visited Turkey on 3 July and flew back to Malaysia on 7 July," read the AGC statement.

According to the statement, Khairuddin underwent a health inspection and screening process for COVID-19 at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), where the result was found to be negative.

"The minister was allowed to return to his residence by an authorised officer from the Ministry of Health (MOH) who was appointed under section 3 of Act 342," it stated, adding that Khairuddin then underwent a second health screening on 10 July at Kuala Lumpur Hospital, which was also found to be negative.

AGC said that after full consideration and deliberation of all available evidence from the police's thorough investigation, it found there was no home surveillance order issued by the authorised officer

In the statement, AGC said that it found "no home surveillance or observation order issued by the authorised officer in the exercise of his discretion to the minister for him to observe such home surveillance or observation order as stipulated under subjection 15(1) of Act 342 as alleged by the complainant".

According to AGC, Khairuddin's actions could not be considered an offence because he was never issued "an order for home surveillance" under subsequent 15(1) of Act 342 before he was allowed to leave.

"For an act to be considered as an offence of breaking a home quarantine order under Act 342, the home surveillance or observation order is required to be issued to the minister under subsection 15(1) of Act 342."

Therefore, it decided that Khairuddin's case requires no further action

In the statement, AGC stated that it decided "to not prefer any charge against the minister" because of "insufficient evidence", which failed to meet the "required burden of proof under the law".

In August, MOH had fined the Plantations and Commodities Minister, stating that he failed to adhere to the regulations under Act 342:

Following which, Khairuddin issued an apology: