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MOH Closes Case On Minister Khairuddin And Will Not Impose A More Severe Punishment On Him

Netizens are upset by the Ministry of Health's decision on the matter.

Cover image via Hairul Anuar Rahim/New Straits Times & New Straits Times

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has closed the case of Plantations and Commodities Minister Khairuddin Aman Razali flouting the mandatory 14-day quarantine order after returning from Turkey

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said the ministry is standing by the RM1,000 fine imposed on the minister, reported Bernama.

"That (RM1,000 fine) has been resolved. The Health director-general (Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah) has already commented on the issue on Twitter," said Dr Adham yesterday, 23 August.

"We (the ministry) look at various angles. It is the maximum compound of RM1,000 (under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1998)."

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba.

Image via Hairul Anuar Rahim/New Straits Times

Dr Adham said although MOH has stopped pursuing the case, other authorities can still press charges on him

According to New Straits Times, the police department in Bukit Aman is currently investigating the case after receiving 27 police reports lodged against Khairuddin.

Dr Adham's decision on the issue came after Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said on Saturday, 22 August, that it is up to MOH to decide on Khairuddin's punishment.

"No one is above the law, whether they are ministers or deputy ministers, they will face the music," said Ismail, who is also the Defence Minister.

Plantations and Commodities Minister Khairuddin Aman Razali.

Image via Twitter @bernamadotcom

While it is true that RM1,000 is the maximum fine that can be imposed under the act, Section 24 of the act stipulates that offenders can also be imprisoned up to two years, fined, or both

It is in the public opinion that Khairuddin should have faced a harsher punishment because there are two cases where offenders have been sentenced to one day's jail and five months' jail respectively for committing the same crime.

Image via Sinar Harian

Adding to the conversation in the Dewan Rakyat today, 24 August, opposition lawmakers questioned MOH's apparent double standards in enforcing the law.

Pokok Sena Member of Parliament (MP) Datuk Mahfuz Omar said ordinary citizens were fined up to RM12,000 for the same offence, while Khairuddin was only fined RM1,000, reported CodeBlue.

Muar MP Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman echoed the same, but he was quickly shot down by Baling MP Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim, who called him a 'budak kecil' (small kid).

Meanwhile, a petition online demanding Khairuddin resign from the Cabinet has amassed over 44,000 signatories.

Khairuddin flouting the 14-day home quarantine was first raised by Seputeh MP Teresa Kok in the Dewan Rakyat on 18 August:

Read more about the controversy here: