Despite Fine, Minister Escapes Court Charge After AG Finds No Quarantine Order Issued

By CodeBlue | 21 October 2020

The Attorney-General’s Chambers says the Ministry of Health (MOH) did not issue a home surveillance order to Khairuddin Aman Razali upon arrival from Turkey.

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 21 — The Attorney-General (AG) has decided not to prosecute Khairuddin Aman Razali because it found the minister was not given a home surveillance order after returning from Turkey.

In a statement released by the AG today, it was stated that the Ministry of Health (MOH) did not issue a home surveillance or observation order to the plantation industries and commodities minister upon returning to Malaysia on July 7.

“For an act to be considered as an offence of breaking a home quarantine order under Act 342, the home surveillance or observation order is required to be issued to the Minister under subsection 15 (1) of Act 342,” the AG said.

“Accordingly based on the above consideration, the AG’s Chambers has decided to not prefer any charge against the Minister due to insufficient evidence and thus fails to meet the required burden of proof under the law.”

The minister visited Turkey on July 3 and flew back to Malaysia on July 7 and was supposed to undergo a mandatory 14-day home quarantine till July 21, like all other international returnees.

According to the AG’s statement, the minister underwent his first swab test at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), tested negative, and was allowed to return to his residence by an authorized MOH officer.

Khairuddin had then undergone a second screening on July 10 at Kuala Lumpur Hospital to attend a ceremony at the Palace on August 17 and his second screening was also found to be negative.

On August 20, Seputeh MP Teresa Kok claimed that Khairuddin had attended at least a dozen programs and meetings upon arrival from Turkey, including attending Parliament from July 13 to July 16.

However, MOH released a statement on August 22, stating that a compound of RM1,000 was issued to Khairuddin on August 7 for “committing an offence” under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures Within The Infected Local Areas) (No.7) Regulations 2020, Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342), and that the minister had settled his fine.

On August 24, MOH announced that it had closed the case on Khairuddin, stating that the case has been resolved with the minister paying an RM1,000 fine.

The Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures Within The Infected Local Areas) (No.7) Regulations 2020 says: “Any person who contravenes any provision of these Regulations commits an offence and shall, on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding one thousand ringgit or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or both.”

MOH’s August 22 statement did not specify which regulation Khairuddin had broken.

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