Looking into the strange case of Khairuddin


EVER since air traffic into Malaysia was allowed again, the Government decided that all individuals entering Malaysia from abroad would be subject to compulsory quarantine orders under the Observation & Surveillance Order subject to the provisions of Section 15(1) of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342).

Section 15 (1) of Act 342 says that “an authorised officer may order any contact to undergo observation in such place and for such period as he may think fit, or to undergo surveillance until he may be discharged without danger to the public”. Administrative terminology refers to those who are subject to quarantine orders as Persons Under Surveillance (PUS).

The question is - do you only become a PUS if an authorised officer "orders" you to undergo quarantine?

According to Bukit Aman CID director Datuk Huzir Mohamed, since Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali was not handed a Form 14B, it follows that since he was not “ordered” by an authorised officer to undergo compulsory quarantine, he was not a PUS, and therefore had not broken any of the rules under Section 15(1) of Act 342.

If that is the case, remember how Khairuddin was issued a RM1,000 compound for "failing to abide by the rules under Act 342"?

What rules did he break? Why was he issued a compound if he did not break any of the rules?

It has been made clear in multiple government circulars that ALL incoming individuals entering Malaysia from abroad are PUS (unless otherwise exempted), and must be subject to compulsory quarantine orders.

You do not only become a PUS upon being given a copy of Form 14B; you become one when you enter, or re-enter Malaysia from abroad.

If Khairuddin falls under any exemption from compulsory quarantine, the authorities must be able to point out which exemption it is.

Otherwise, this sets a dangerous precedent where any PUS the authorities forget to issue Form 14B to can breach quarantine without consequences.

Moreover, classifying the case as "no further action" (NFA) will not be the end. Unlike in Lim Guan Eng’s cases, where he was acquitted after being charged (thereby closing the case forever), Khairuddin has not been charged yet.

Under Article 145(3) of the Constitution, the power to institute criminal prosecution is vested with the Public Prosecutor, not the police.

Therefore, a complainant can still appeal to the Attorney General's Chambers (AGC) against the decision for NFA.

As of Aug 23rd, 27 police reports have been made against Dr Mohd Khairuddin. Appeals against the decision for NFA can still be made to the Prosecution Division of the AGC, either through the state level or directly to the AGC’s head office in Putrajaya.

We cannot jail the common rakyat for breaching quarantine while ministers get off due to "technical errors".

There can be no "dua darjat" for we all are equal before the law.

CHAN QUIN ER

MCA central committee member

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