Selangor top cop says MAEPS quarantine investigation unrelated to Harta Doktor Kontrak protest

PETALING JAYA: Investigations into the going-ons at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS) quarantine centre had nothing to do with the recent Hartal Doktor Kontrak protest there, says Selangor police.

"There were two incidents there. The one we are investigating was that of six members of the media trespassing into the yellow zone of the quarantine area.

"I have made it clear that we are not investigating the doctors for carrying placards and voicing out their concerns," said state police chief Comm Datuk Arjunaidi Mohamed in an online press conference on Wednesday.

He also addressed allegations that doctors were questioned until the early hours.

"The doctors that we recorded statements from were working from 8pm to 8am.

"We took their statements when they were on shift, with permission from the MAEPS management.

"Some parties have spun this matter. We did this as a courtesy to the 17 doctors because if we asked them to have their statements recorded during normal working hours, they would have been very tired from working until 8am," he said, adding that the police cannot investigate a case without having statements recorded.

He also emphasised that the MAEPS quarantine area was a restricted area, and that even a state police chief such as himself would require prior permission before stepping inside.

Comm Arjunaidi added that the reporters that had trespassed inside could have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus as the areas they were in was near the quarantine zones for category four and five patients.

"They endangered themselves and other people. They could have spread the virus to others outside, we don't know.

"We have identified the reporters and the news agencies involved. They will be called in for their statements as soon," he said, adding that the police view the matter seriously.

Comm Arjunaidi said while the police were not curtailing the freedom to report, they had a responsibility to protect lives.

"We can't just let the media enter and 'kill themselves' inside. We know the place is dangerous, and it is our responsibility to protect the safety of the people," he said.

When asked if the reporters had been given prior permission to enter the centre, Comm Arjunaidi said that no permission had been granted by MAEPS.

Earlier, lawyer Asheeq Ali cried foul about the investigation, saying that 12 doctors who took part in the Hartal Doktor Kontrak protests had their statements recorded until the early hours of the morning.

“The investigation started at 11.45pm (on Tuesday) and ended at about 3.50am. Twelve doctors who took part in the @HartalDoktorKontrak had their statements recorded.

"The police will continue tomorrow with the doctors who were not on duty tonight,” he tweeted early Wednesday morning.

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