Health Ministry top management 'kept in the dark' until recently over minister breaking quarantine issue, says Health DG

PUTRAJAYA: The top management of the Health Ministry was “kept in the dark” over the quarantine breach and RM1,000 compound controversy involving a Cabinet minister until last week.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said he and his deputies were not briefed on the issue by the ministry’s ground staff and learned about it through the media.

He was asked by the press about the RM1,000 compound that was said to be issued to Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali on Aug 7 for violating his mandatory quarantine upon returning from Turkey.

“All of us here, we were not informed of this. We only knew of it last week when it was raised by the media, so we ordered an internal investigation.

“Only yesterday did I receive the full report of the internal investigation.

“It’s important for our frontliners that whatever happened at the ground level must be told to us and their superiors so that we can take action, ” Dr Noor Hisham said at the ministry’s Covid-19 press conference Tuesday (Aug 25).

Dr Noor Hisham said he would leave the matter to the police who are now investigating the issue.

“So I will leave it to the police and wait for them, ” he said.

Khairuddin’s quarantine breach has caused plenty of public furore, who felt the RM1,000 compound issued to him was too low.

The Kuala Nerus MP was said to have been on an unofficial visit to Turkey from July 3 to 7 but had not gone for the 14-day quarantine which is required for everyone returning from abroad.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the government was viewing the matter seriously and would leave it to the authorities to probe it and take the necessary action.

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