KUALA LUMPUR, April 28 – Deputy Health Minister 1, Dr. Noor Azmi Ghazali, pleaded guilty today for breaching the Movement Control Order (MCO), and was fined RM1,000 by the Gerik Magistrate Court in Perak, reported Bernama TV.
Dr. Noor Azmi, together with Razman Zakaria, a state executive councilor, were photographed on April 18 sharing meals with a group of people at a tahfiz school in Lenggong, Perak.
The image was uploaded to Dr. Noor Azmi’s Facebook page, but was later removed after it brought public outcry from public. His actions were seen as a clear violation of the MCO.
“I apologize for my mistake, and agree to the judicial system’s decision. I will be more careful going forward, and will continue to fight for the betterment of the nation’s healthcare system,” he said outside the courtroom, according to a video posted on Twitter by Channel News Asia’s Melissa Goh.
The duo were charged under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures within the Infected Local Areas) Regulations 2020, which imposes a ban on any type of gathering. Violation of the act can be charged with a maximum fine of RM1,000 or a jail term of not more than six months, or both.
Dr. Noor Azmi has previously apologized for the incident. However, it did not go well with the Malaysian public, which demanded fair and equal treatment of citizens and those in power.
Malaysia is currently at the end of the third phase of the MCO. The fourth phase begins tomorrow and will end on May 12. It is unknown if the MCO will be further extended after that date.