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Home Minister: 56 Politicians Arrested Over SOP Violation Throughout 526 Days Of MCO

That is about one politician every nine days getting detained over alleged COVID-19 protocol violations.

Cover image via Mohd Fadli Hamzah/New Straits Times & Malaysia's Department of Information via The Straits Times

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Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin said a total of 56 politicians were detained for breaching COVID-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) during the pandemic

In a parliamentary written reply yesterday, 22 September, the Minister said the 56 politicians were arrested for SOP violations between the start of the Movement Control Order (MCO) on 18 March 2020 and 25 August this year.

"Of that figure, 22 compounds were issued while 25 cases are still under investigation, eight cases classified as 'no further action' (NFA), and one case charged in court," said the Larut member of Parliament (MP) who is aligned with Bersatu.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin.

Image via Bernama via Berita Harian

Hamzah was responding to a question addressed to him by Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman

Syed Saddiq said there are allegations of politicians eating at dinner parties, having meals at restaurants, and not wearing face masks in public places.

However, the Home Minister did not provide a breakdown of alleged violations of the 56 politicians, nor which parties they are from.

Based on the figure Hamzah provided, it means Malaysia has about one politician arrested for COVID-19 protocol violations every nine days

Throughout the MCO, politicians of different ranks — such as former premiers, Cabinet ministers, deputy ministers, party chiefs, as well as MPs — made headlines for breaching SOPs.

However, none of them in the Cabinet were fired from their roles.

On 28 April 2020, Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali and Perak state executive councillor (exco) Razman Zakaria were fined RM1,000 each for dining with a group of people at a tahfiz school in Perak.

Then plantations and commodities minister Datuk Dr Khairuddin Aman Razali was also fined RM1,000 for not adhering to quarantine rules.

Even MPs with former premier statuses — such as Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad — were among the politicians who made headlines for breaching MCO rules.

Najib Razak admitted to not registering before walking into a restaurant to have chicken rice on 19 March.

Image via Free Malaysia Today

Some Opposition members were also said to be compounded for gathering after they were barred from entering the Parliament on 2 August, reported Malaysiakini.

Many politicians' children were also caught violating COVID-19 protocols.

Remember to limit your movement and keep practising physical distancing. Find out the latest COVID-19 updates on the Ministry of Health's COVIDNOW website.

Several high-ranking ministers made the news for breaching MCO rules during the pandemic: