Sabah MP wants Kitingan referred to rights committee over alleged quarantine breach

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 25 Nov 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: A lawmaker from Sabah wants his fellow MP from the state to be referred to Parliament’s Rights and Privileges Committee for allegedly breaching quarantine orders.

Chan Foong Hin (PH-Kota Kinabalu) interjected and requested that Keningau MP Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan (pic) be referred to the committee for not fulfilling the 14-day self-quarantine requirement by the House as a measure to contain Covid-19.

"I would like to refer to the letter that MPs received from the Dewan Rakyat on Oct 9, which states that all MPs from Sabah must quarantine for 14 days – so why is Keningau exempted from this?

"I would like to refer him to the committee so please make a ruling, Speaker," said Chan in the Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday (Nov 25).

Deputy Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon, who was chairing the proceedings at the time, said the House had received a letter from the Health Department on the matter.

"This is a continuation from the issue brought up on Tuesday (Nov 24), but to summarise it, we have the letter from the Health Department.

"The Parliament doctor has also referred to the Health Department and got information from the Health Ministry on the issue.

"If you would like to refer YB Keningau to the committee, then please write in formally," said Rashid.

To this, Chan said he had already sent in a letter for further action.

There was an uproar on Tuesday (Nov 24) when several MPs questioned Kitingan's presence in the House as he had returned to Sabah recently.

Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun said he was made to understand that Kitingan had started his quarantine on Nov 12 and received his release order from the Health Ministry on Monday (Nov 23).

Several MPs had then interrupted and said the number of quarantine days was less than what was required.

To this, Azhar then said he needed time to check with health authorities as the ruling was made based on the information given to him.

Later in the day, Kitingan said health officials had cleared him to attend Parliament on Tuesday.

“I went to the health office and they gave me the quarantine release order. My quarantine wristband was cut off.

“It is not true I did not observe the quarantine. They (Opposition) just kacau (disturb me), ” the Sabah Deputy Chief Minister said when contacted.

Kitingan, who is also Sabah STAR president, had provided, via WhatsApp, a copy of the Health Ministry’s quarantine release order that was issued on Nov 23, two days ahead of the end of the required 14-day quarantine.

He was under mandatory Covid-19 home quarantine from Nov 12 to 25 but the order to release him earlier was made after health officials declared his health status satisfactory.

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