Parliament pressures Malaysian minister over quarantine flouting

Bangkok -The Malaysia’s Industries and Commodities Minister, Mohamad Razali, on Monday came under fire in the country’s parliament for breaking novel coronavirus quarantine rules.

Though Razali paid a 1,000-ringgit (or 240-dollar) fine in August for violating stay-home requirements after returning to Malaysia from an official visit to Turkey, lawmakers believe the minister was been let off lightly.

Earlier, former Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad said that it was unfair that a minister gets to walk free easily while others face court.

A restaurant owner was jailed in August for five months for quarantine breaches that led to around 40 people being infected with the novel coronavirus.

Around 23,000 people were arrested for alleged violations during Malaysia’s anti-coronavirus lockdown, which ran from March 18 to May 4.

Defence Minister Ismail Yaakob said that 512 people were arrested the previous day for violations of the remaining curbs, such as visiting illicitly re-opened pubs and nightclubs.

Police Chief Abdul Bador said on Sunday that Khairuddin, who was in charge of the world’s second-biggest palm oil sector, would be investigated for his quarantine breach.

Malaysia and Indonesia together produce around 85 per cent of the world’s palm oil, a widely used ingredient in snacks, cosmetics, fuels and animal feed.

Malaysia’s Ministry of Health has reported more than 9,200 cases of novel coronavirus infection and 125 related deaths.


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