‘Birthday event unplanned, not meant to violate MCO’

PETALING JAYA: Deputy Rural Development Minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Mohamad said photographs showing a gathering where a cake was presented to him by a group of people was unplanned and not meant to violate the movement control order (MCO).

“It was all unplanned and I didn’t want to chase them away, ” he told The Star yesterday.

He said that it was a brief gathering where he had cut the cake that was brought to his house, followed by a short recital of the doa selamat.

Referring to a Facebook post showing photographs of what appeared to be a get-together to celebrate his birthday, he said that the pictures were taken on April 13.

He said that the posting had been misinterpreted by netizens, explaining that several men who were at his house to see him off as he made his way to Putrajaya to attend a meeting took the photographs.

These men, he said, were volunteers who had helped him distribute necessities to his constituents in Lipis.

“I was leaving at around 9am when I saw them arriving with a cake. They told me that they wanted to wish me well on my journey to Putrajaya, and that they wanted to give me the cake as it was coincidentally my birthday that day, ” he said.

It would have been rude to turn them away, he said.

Abdul Rahman said that he was not wearing a face mask in the photos as there was no advisory from the Health Ministry for healthy individuals to do so.

There also seemed to be no social distancing at the gathering.

Meanwhile, a Perak state exco member has apologised for the controversy over an event held at his Maahad Tahfiz centre in Lenggong.

Razman Zakaria, who is also the Perak PAS commissioner, said in

his Facebook posting that he had been going to the ground to check

if the frontliners, especially the healthcare staff, required any equipment.

“Every night, volunteers send food to the security forces manning roadblocks around Bagan Serai and that is how we know what is required.

“In each case, we are very concerned about the standard operating procedure and if we have violated the procedure, God willing, we will overcome it, ” he said.

He also said that he had gone to the Bagan Serai police district headquarters to give his statement.

On Saturday, a posting on social media of Razman and Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali having a meal at a gathering in Lenggong had drawn criticism from netizens.

Photos showed that there were between 20 and 30 people seated on the floor having their meals.

Until press time, attempts to get in touch with Dr Noor Azmi remained futile.

Perak police chief Comm Datuk Razarudin Husain had since said that all those involved would be investigated.

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