Sunday, August 23, 2020

Quarantine-Violator Minister may be in Very Big Heap of Trouble


Lawyers: Minister can be charged multiple times for single quarantine breach

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Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Khairuddin Aman Razali can still be charged in court despite having reportedly paid a RM1,000 compound for breaching mandatory quarantine requirements.

Khairuddin was supposed to have undergone home quarantine after returning from Turkey on July 7 but was spotted at several events including having attended Parliament on July 13.

Lawyers New Sin Yew, Samantha Chong, and Haniff Khatri Abdullah opined that Khairuddin could be charged for every occasion he broke quarantine.

"Technically, each time he left the house (was an offence)," New told Malaysiakini.

Seputeh MP Teresa Kok said Khairuddin had attended at least a dozen events and meetings during the two week period since July 7 when he was supposed to be quarantined.

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The locations of the events include Parliament (July 13, 14, and 16), Jasin (July 15), the Prime Minister's Department (July 18), Kuala Nerus (July 18), Setiu (July 18), Pantai Penarak, Terengganu (July 18) and Pulau Duyong (July 10, 19).

Previously the restaurant owner linked to the Sivaganga Covid-19 cluster was also issued a compound of RM1,000 on July 23 before being charged in court on Aug 13 and fined RM12,000 and jailed five months.

Nezar Mohamed Sabur Batcha was charged with four counts of breaching quarantine on four different occasions.

According to Haniff, it was possible that the RM1,000 compound against Khairuddin was to cover all his quarantine offences but added that this would be wrong.

"In Khairuddin's case, it is important to disclose the content of the compound for public observation.

"If this compound is only for the specific offence of being in Dewan Rakyat on July 13, then the authorities must still charge him. Continuity of breach should call for a charge in court," he said.

Using drink driving as an analogy, Chong said under Malaysian law, a drunk person who drove dangerously for two weeks could be prosecuted for every drink driving episode regardless of whether any injuries occurred to other road users.

She said likewise, this applied to the mandatory quarantine order.

"The minister had violated the quarantine order every time he attended a function. Thus, there should be a separate charge and punishment for each offence committed," she said.

She added it was also unclear if there was an investigation paper opened on the case and why Khairuddin was not brought to court like deputy health minister Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali.

Noor Azmi was investigated for breaching the movement control order after he posted a series of photographs online showing him and his entourage visiting a religious school in Lenggong, Perak on April 17.

He was fined RM1,000 by the courts.


  1. Minister’s family members oso, if they did not quarantine 14 days, every time they went out, every place they visited, as recorded by MySejahtera.

  2. PM must also come clean. Did he authorize the ministers trip to Turkey, did taxpayers pay for his family, and was PM aware the minister did not follow quarantine rules upon his return.

  3. This is an interesting case... we wait with bated breath what action the authorities will take on Khairuddin and his family.