No one including ministers or government officials will be spared for violating the standard operating procedure (SOP) of COVID-19, according to Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali
Speaking to reporters in Tanjung Malim on Friday, 21 August, he said that there will be no double standard and anyone found to be in violation of the SOP will have appropriate action taken against them.
Dr Noor Azmi said that the government will conduct a transparent investigation.
As an example, the Deputy Health Minister referred to himself, saying he was also punished after violating the Movement Control Order (MCO) in April when he was seen in since-deleted photos with about 20 people enjoying a meal together at a tahfiz school in Lenggong, Perak.
"I also paid RM1,000 fine. I think the government has to be transparent in investigations and take necessary action. No one should be able to get away," he was quoted as saying by Sinar Harian.
The Deputy Health Minister was commenting on the issue concerning Plantations and Commodities Minister Khairuddin Aman Razali
Khairuddin did not undergo the mandatory 14-day home quarantine after returning from overseas, as pointed out by Seputeh Member of Parliament (MP) Teresa Kok during a Parliament sitting on 18 August.
"We know that everyone who goes overseas and comes back must be quarantined for 14 days, but now a Cabinet minister has not followed this rule," she said, as reported by Malaysiakini.
It prompted many netizens to call out the minister's behaviour and his apparent exemption from the mandatory quarantine amidst the fact several Malaysians have been jailed and fined for flouting the Home Surveillance Order (HSO) under the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO).
Following the public outcry, Khairuddin responded by urging everyone to wait for the Ministry of Health (MOH) to issue a statement, saying that he will comply with guidelines and instructions set by the MoH.
"Just wait for the statement, including the official results of the COVID-19 test conducted by MoH. As a responsible Cabinet minister, I will abide by whatever statement that is issued by the MoH," he said.
Since then, Khairuddin has said that he has taken three COVID-19 tests and the results have all come back negative. His third test was done ahead of an event at Istana Negara on 17 August.
Dr Noor Azmi reiterated the government's stance about not practising double standards and said that no VIP will be allowed to get away
"In this case (about Khairuddin), there shouldn't be double standards, those higher-ups/VIP shouldn't be allowed to get away while normal people are punished," he told Sinar Harian.
No VIP should escape arrest while normal people are handcuffed.