Kedah Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor is under police investigation after he was allegedly seen going for a test drive at a vehicle sales centre in Juru Autocity, Penang, in violation of the standard operating procedures (SOPs) amidst the total lockdown
Seberang Prai Tengah district police chief ACP Shafee Abd Samad they are investigating him under Section 269 of the Penal Code and Regulation 17(1) of the Disease Prevention Measure and Control Act 2021.
"Police will call everyone believed to be involved in the matter including the car salesman, the Menteri Besar and those who were there to assist investigations," New Straits Times quoted him as saying.
According to the report, photos and videos of a salesman and several individuals believed to be Muhammad Sanusi, who was test-driving a car at the centre, have gone viral over the weekend.
This was despite the country now being placed under a two-week total lockdown.
Netizens questioned how the Menteri Besar could go for a test drive when vehicle sales centres were not part of the essential services allowed to operate during the total lockdown.
Meanwhile, the woman who posted the photos has since reported that she had come under attack from supporters of the Menteri Besar, ranging from religious teachers to those with political links.
Sanusi has since said that he will give full cooperation and is prepared to face any possibility after being investigated by the police
He said that he has left the matter to the authorities to investigate how they see fit.
"The police will decide where the statement will be taken, whether at the police station or in the (MB) office. Penang police are investigating it because the investigation paper was opened there. If the police say there is an offence and if I am charged, I am sure I will not be facing the gallows," he said today, 7 June.
"If there is a compound, I will pay and if the car showroom employee is compounded, I will also pay."
The Menteri Besar has also come forward to offer more clarity over the matter, stating that he was on his way to Kuala Lumpur on Friday evening and had taken a little detour to Autocity Juru to buy food
"When the driver was buying the food, I got out to see a vehicle in the adjacent shop being moved by an employee, I greeted and chatted with him for a while. I think greeting people does not violate SOPs," he said.
According to Sanusi, the man introduced himself as 'Mr Ong' and explained the type and specifications of the vehicle with him sitting in the front passenger seat and his escort sitting in the rear passenger seat.
Following which, the employee took him on a ride in the vehicle nearby the premises.
"He moved a little. He drove, not me, and he took it to an area where there was plenty of parking. He told me the price of the car was RM200,000, but I said I couldn't afford it," Sanusi added.
Sanusi, however, denied having test driven the vehicle
He said that as he was not the one driving the vehicle and merely sitting in the front passenger seat, this does not constitute 'test driving' as it has been alleged by everyone.
The Kedah Mentari Besar then used the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) to explain its meaning.
"According to DBP, the meaning of test drive is to test the performance of the vehicle, but I did not do it and when I was looking at other vehicles, I realised that there were individuals recording us," he said.
Sanusi said that if the person, who made the recording and posted it on social media, had simply come to him to ask about the situation, he would have explained it to them to avoid any misunderstandings
"Maybe because I am a controversial Menteri Besar some people think that when they record a leader who allegedly violated the SOPs, that person will become a hero in this country," he said.
"I'm not saying I'm not wrong or guilty, if there is a violation of the SOPs then I apologise because it happened by chance, I like to greet people and talk. If I get a compound then I will pay."
The Kedah Menteri Besar added that he will also give the person who recorded the video of him on the day a new smartphone "to make it easier for the person to record good things".