Charge PAS Minister for negligence, says Malaysian Bar

Salim Bashir – Picture from Malaysiakini

By John Isaac

THE Malaysian Bar suggested that a minister who violated the quarantine order be charged under the Penal Code for negligence after authorities said they would not take further action.

Police said no further action will be taken against Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Khairuddin Aman Razali over his breach of the quarantine order after returning from overseas in July.

The PAS MP was being investigated for violating the mandatory quarantine order upon returning from a working trip to Turkey.

Bukit Aman CID chief Huzir Mohamed said the decision was made as the minister had not been issued the form to undergo quarantine upon returning to the country.

This was later affirmed by the Attorney-General’s Chambers who said it was up to the health ministry officer’s discretion to issue a home surveillance order.

However, according to Free Malaysia Today, Malaysian Bar president Salim Bashir said action could be taken against Khairuddin under Section 269 of the Penal Code.

The section stipulates that “whoever unlawfully or negligently does any act which is, and which he knows or has reason to believe to be, likely to spread the infection of any disease dangerous to life”, commits an offence.

“Perhaps the Attorney-General could exercise his constitutional prerogative to reconsider his earlier decision based on the above-mentioned offence provided under the Penal Code,” he said in a statement.

If convicted, the individual could be jailed for up to six months or fined, or both.

Salim also called for the health ministry to explain why the relevant form was not provided to Khairuddin, and why was he permitted to move about freely.

“The public is entitled to know the reasons for his exemption from a quarantine order.”