By Lim Kit Siang
THE RM1,000 fine for the PAS Minister for Plantation, Industries and Commodities Datuk Khairuddin Aman Razali to end the growing storm over his Covid-19 standard operating procedure (SOP) breach sounds very fishy and contrived as it raises more questions.
If the Health Ministry had acted as early as Aug 7 and issued a compound of RM1,000 on the same day, and the minister had paid the compound, the questions that arise include:
1. Why didn’t the minister admit to the SOP breach right from the beginning when the DAP MP for Seputeh, Teresa Kok raised it in Parliament on Aug 18?
2. Why the cock-and-bull story that the minister’s trip to Turkey had the approval of the prime minister, that he had escaped the 14-day quarantine because he was found “negative” in a “special test” for ministers to go in and out of the country and that Turkey was a “green country (zone)” for Covid-19 pandemic?
3. If action had already been taken on Aug 7, what was the Health Ministry’s investigation in the last four days about?
4. Is the payment of the M1,000 compound fine by Khairudddin on Aug 7 true?
5. Why didn’t the Health Ministry require Khairuddin to wear the pink wristband, monitor and require him to be quarantined? Did Khairuddin defy such quarantine instructions?
6. What about the others in Khairuddin’s trip to Turkey? How many of them, who are they and were they all compounded?
Or are these “fishy and contrived” answers merely to save the Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin from appearing to be a weak prime minister and avoid the embarrassment of having to answer questions about Khairuddin’s breach of the Covid-19 SOP, as well as other related questions?
These include questions like whether there is a “special test” for ministers, deputy ministers and high officials and how had been given permission to leave the country during the movement control order (MCO) from March 18 to May 3, the conditional MCO from May 4 to June 9 and the recovery RMCO from June 10 to Aug 31; the duration and reasons for their overseas trips, with separate information with regard to ministers and top officials who were permitted to go overseas and to return on “personal matters” without having to comply with the SOP.
I am reminded of the warning that if you tell a lie, you will have to tell a thousand lies to hide a lie.
The prime minister should agree that Khairuddin should be referred to the parliamentary committee of privileges as he had committed a serious breach of parliamentary privileges.
Lim Kit Siang is the MP for Iskandar Puteri. The views here do not necessarily represent those of this portal.