Sunday, August 23, 2020

Saga Menteri PAS continues


Max RM1000 Fine, No Jail – Now Every MP In The Backdoor Government Of Muhyiddin Can Break Any Law They Like

Khairuddin apologises for violating quarantine, donates 4 months ...

After being exposed, Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali claimed that upon arrival at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) from Turkey, he was given a “special Covid-19 test” that produced a negative result after 5 hours. Unlike any ordinary folks, the Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister deliberately skipped the 14-day quarantine, which is mandatory regardless of test results.

When the arrogant minister from PAS Islamist party was grilled by the angry public over the breach of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 2 years or a fine or both, he simply cooked up more excuses. The minister claimed he had taken up to 3 tests (which cannot be substantiated) since his trip to Turkey (July 3-7).

Beating around the bush, he argued that the fact he was allowed into Istana Negara (Palace) proved that he had tested negative for the virus. He pretended to be ignorant. Under the National Security Council’s SOP, all returnees from overseas are tested on arrival and those with negative results must serve fully their 14-day quarantine, while those who tested positive are sent to a hospital for further treatment.

But as the “mini scandal” refuses to die a natural death, the Ministry of Health on Saturday (Aug 22) announced that the minister has been slapped with a RM1,000 fines for failing to self-quarantine for 14 days. The “slap on the wrist” punishment, however, has added more fuel to the fire. The backdoor government of Muhyiddin thought it could easily insult the people’s intelligence.

Social media users immediately sprang into action after a press statement was posted on the Facebook page of the Ministry of Health. The announcement of the RM1,000 minuscule penalty on the defiant minister was greeted with a whopping 24,000 reactions and 4,000 shares with a whopping 10,000 comments – almost all of them highly critical of what appears to be clearly double standards.

Obviously, the record number of reactions, shares and comments on the Ministry of Health’s Facebook page speaks volumes about people’s displeasure over the hypocrisy, clueless, incompetence and unfair administration of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin. Of course, many have questioned why ordinary people are being slapped with heavier punishments than VIPs.

It didn’t help that Mr Mohd Khairuddin was the same minister who had criticised the index case of the Sivagangga cluster for failing to comply with Covid-19 home quarantine rules after returning from India. Yet, after his condemnation on Aug 4 of the super spreader, the minister himself quietly and arrogantly ignored the quarantine.

That super spreader, Nezar Mohamed Sabur Batcha, an Indian national with permanent resident status in Malaysia, was fined RM12,000 and jailed 5 months for violating home quarantine orders. The owner of Nasi Kandar Salleh in Napoh, Kedah, who returned to Malaysia from Sivagangga, Tamil Nadu, India, was also tested negative initially like Minister Khairuddin.

Besides the Sivagangga cluster, netizens also roasted the Perikatan Nasional government – comparing the special treatment accorded to the minister with a 72-year-old woman, Nur Emah Mohamad Hashim, who was jailed 1-day and fined RM8,000 for violating the same home quarantine order. Another technician was sentenced on Aug 18 to a RM2,500 fine was breaching the same quarantine order.

The unexpected fierce attacks on the Ministry of Health’s Facebook page have certainly sent shivers down the spine of the government. Hours after the damage control backfired, the arrogant minister publicly apologised and offered to donate 5 months of his salary to a fund to fight Covid-19 pandemic. Khairuddin said – “I would like to say millions of sorries to all Malaysians for my oversight,”

But the fun has just begun. Like the serial liar former Prime Minister Najib Razak, there’s a reason why lying leads to more lies. Once you tell a lie, you need ten more lies to cover your arse. And in this case, the infamous “Warm Water” Minister of Health Adham Baba could have tried to cover up for his colleague by backdating the RM1,000 fine.

According to the same press statement, the Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister was fined by the Ministry of Health on August 7 and that the minister had fully paid it. But the issue was only raised by Opposition MP Teresa Kok on August 18. Exactly why was the minister struggling to defend himself for 4 days if indeed he had actually been fined more than a week ago?

Would it not be easier for Minister Khairuddin to proudly admit that he had already been penalised for skipping the quarantine, instead of making a fool of himself like now? It’s not rocket science that he was not fined on August 8 and the whole idea of backdating the compound was an afterthought and that the Minister of Health had lied to save Khairuddin’s arse.

It’s not incredibly difficult to understand why lame duck Prime Minister Muhyiddin instructed both Ministry of Health and Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities to work together to cover up the screw-up. Article 48(1)(e) of the Federal Constitution says that MPs are disqualified if convicted of an offence and sentenced to a jail term of more than 1 year and fined more than RM2,000.

Therefore, by hook or by crook, Mohd Khairuddin cannot be sentenced to jail nor fined more than RM2,000 like the poor 72-year-old woman. In the event he is dragged to face the court, even if he could escape a 1-year jail term, the minister would certainly be fined more than RM2,000 based on previous cases. If that happens, he would be disqualified as a Member of Parliament.

Based on the result of the controversial appointment of backdoor Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun on July 13, where the fragile government managed to bulldoze the removal of legitimate Speaker Mohd Ariff Mohd Yusof, the backdoor PM Muhyiddin has only 111 votes in the 222-seat Parliament. That is not even a simple majority to begin with.

With the disqualification of Mohd Khairuddin, a by-election needs to be held, during which the Muhyiddin regime will lose whatever razor-thin majority he enjoys. His government would collapse. Hence, all the MPs currently aligned to the government are untouchable and invincible. That creates the sense of arrogance, as can be seen in the case of Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali.

Yes, in the same breath, every MP who is keeping the government on thin ice can be assured and guaranteed that no matter what law they break, they won’t be arrested, let alone charged in court. For a limited time until the next 15th general election, the maximum penalty is RM1,000 fine – regardless of the offence to be committed by the lucky MPs.

It’s also not hard to understand why the irresponsible and arrogant Mohd Khairuddin was offering to “donate” his salary of 5 months to “offset” being charged in court. The donation would be like chicken feed to him. At the peak of the scandal in 2017 where UMNO reportedly “bribed” PAS Islamist party with RM90 million, his sudden wealth had raised eyebrows.

As the information chief of PAS Ulama (clerics) wing, Khairuddin bought an Audi Q7 SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle) for his wife. In her bragging Facebook post in 2017, his wife – Norhayati Abd Malek – revealed a photo of the new RM525,000 white Audi, which she said was a “gift” from her husband. Mr Khairuddin then said – “This is a petty issue. I have a right to buy anything I want.”

Still, questions remained over why Khairuddin was not made to wear the infamous pink wristband in the first place, even if he was planning to skip the home quarantine order. The despicable Health Minister Adham Baba has to explain this mystery, along with immunity enjoyed by the family members who tagged along with the disgraced Mohd Khairuddin to Turkey.

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