by RAHIMI YUNUS / pic by BERNAMA
PUBLIC anger and resentment are mounting over the Attorney General’s Chambers’ (AGC) instruction for no further action (NFA) against Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali (picture) for breaking quarantine order.
The AGC’s decision sparked backlash among the people including politicians from the Opposition, who raised issues of double standards and rule of law regarding the case.
PKR Youth chief Akmal Nasrullah Mohd Nasir said he regretted the decision, which affirmed a growing view that the Perikatan Nasional government applies double standards.
“Several cases involving ordinary people who erred in violating the quarantine order were sentenced to fines and imprisonment, while the PAS minister was released just like that,” said the Johor Baru MP, said in a statement yesterday.
A check on social media also showed that the NFA decision largely did not sit well with the public and many of them expressing disappointment that after a long period of investigation in the case, the result was an NFA.
AG Tan Sri Idrus Harun said there is insufficient evidence to charge Mohd Khairuddin and thus failed to meet the required burden of proof.
Idrus said the AGC found that there was no home surveillance or observation order issued by the authorised officer under subsection 15(1) of Act 342 (Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988) as alleged by the complainant.
He added that Form 14b, which contained an order for home surveillance and/or observation order under subsection 15(1) of Act 342 had never been issued to the minister before he was allowed to leave.
“Accordingly, based on the above consideration, the AGC 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 AG said in a statement yesterday.
Idrus said the investigation paper submitted by the police revealed that Mohd Khairuddin visited Turkey on July 3 and flew back to Malaysia on July 7.
He said the minister tested negative when screened for Covid-19 at the airport and allowed to return to his residence by the authorised Health Ministry officer.
The AG said Mohd Khairuddin underwent a second health screening on July 10 for the purpose of attending a ceremony at Istana Negara on Aug 17, which also turned out negative.
Mohd Khairuddin had previously been slapped with a RM1,000 fine for breaching the quarantine order.
His alleged quarantine breach came into light when the issue was brought forward by Seputeh MP Teresa Kok, who claimed that Mohd Khairuddin had been on an unofficial visit to Turkey from July 3 to July 7, but had attended Parliament a week later.