‘I apologise to all Malaysians’

PETALING JAYA: Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali will be returning four months of his ministerial salary as an act of remorse for violating the 14-day quarantine ruling after returning to Malaysia from overseas.

In a statement yesterday, Mohd Khairuddin said he would donate the money to the national Covid-19 fund under the Health Ministry.

The Kuala Nerus PAS MP came under widespread criticism for skipping quarantine after returning from Turkey in July.

“Referring to the Health Ministry’s press statement on the SOP under the recovery movement control order (MCO), I apologise to all Malaysians for the mistake that occurred.

“As a minister, I have the responsibility to follow all the regulations and SOP throughout the recovery MCO.

“To show that sense of responsibility, I will be returning all my salary as a minister from May to August.

“My salary for March and April were also contributed towards the fund, as per the Cabinet’s previous decision,” he said.

In March, the Cabinet decided that all of the members’ salaries for March and April would go towards the Covid-19 fund.

Mohd Khairuddin also vowed to continue working hard and redouble his efforts in carrying out his duties as a minister.

“This is to ensure the rakyat involved in the plantation industries and commodities, especially over a million B40 smallholders, will always receive benefits and have their welfare taken care of,” he said.

Earlier yesterday, the Health Ministry issued a statement which said Mohd Khairuddin had been fined RM1,000 on Aug 7 for failing to adhere to the regulations under Act 342.

The ministry clarified that Mohd Khairuddin had already settled the compound, and confirmed that the three nasopharyngeal swab tests on him came out negative.

On Aug 18, Seputeh MP Teresa Kok claimed in the Dewan Rakyat that Mohd Khairuddin had visited Turkey in an unofficial capacity until July 7, but did not undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine upon returning to the country.

On Aug 20, she further claimed that Mohd Khairuddin had been accompanied on his trip by family members and officials, with pictures of him attending various functions, including with other officials and ministers, seen on social media, leading many Malaysians to be outraged at what seemed to be double standards.

Recently, a 72-year-old senior citizen was fined RM8,000 and sentenced to a day’s jail after violating her home quarantine order in Ipoh, while in Penang, a 42-year-old technician was fined RM2,500 for the same offence.

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