Thursday, September 03, 2020

Minister Mohd Khairuddin can be charged for even attempted murder when others put at risk of Covid-19, which kills?

Media Statement – 3/9/2020

No Special Treatment For Minister Khairuddin Aman To Protect Public Perception Of Malaysia’s Administration Of Justice

Investigate for attempted murder and other crimes, not simply crimes under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988

MADPET (Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture) would like to state that Minister Datuk Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali, who put at risk so many Malaysians including our Members of Parliament, who many could have been infected by Covid-19, a disease that can cause death, ought to be investigated not just under Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988, but also for attempted murder and other offences under the Penal Code and other laws.

Covid-19 – Highly infectious and caused death of about 128 in Malaysia and 867.000 worldwide

Covid-19, is a highly infectious disease that has already infected about 9,360 in Malaysia, and about 26 million worldwide. In Malaysia, 128 have died as a result of Covid, whilst worldwide, the death toll is about 867,362.

Everyone, especially a current Minister, knows that Covid-19 is imminently dangerous with the risk of causing death, or causing others to be infected by this life threatening disease.

As such, Malaysia, and countries worldwide, have put in place strict measures in place to prevent risk of infection and death, including restrictions on movement and also quarantine requirements. Effective 24 July 2020, all passengers travelling into Malaysia are now required to undergo 14-day mandatory quarantine at dedicated quarantine centres upon arrival. Previously, there was the option of self-quarantine.

The imposition of the 14 day quarantine requirement, is because we know that a single Covid test is considered insufficient. On his return, a nasopharyngeal swab sample to screen for Covid-19 was taken from him which turned out negative does not mean that he can avoid quarantine, or be Covid-19 free.

One of the high risk categories are those that come  to Malaysia from other countries, whereby Turkey is  now the country with the 18th highest number of Covid-19 infections worldwide, where there is a recorded about 271,515 infections and 6,462 deaths, whereby yesterday there were about 1,596 new infections, and 45 deaths.

King, Queen and Prime Minister also had to undergo 14-day Quarantine

Even Malaysia’s King, Queen and members of the royal family had to undergo a 14-day self-quarantine at Istana Negara after several of the palace staff were tested positive for Covid-19 two weeks ago.(New Straits Times, 9/4/2020). On 22 May, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin was also placed under a 14-day quarantine at home, after attending a meeting with a later detected Covid-19 patient.(Malaysiakini, 20/5/2020).

Plantation and Commodities Minister Khairuddin travelled to Turkey allegedly on July 3, returned to Malaysia on July 7, and was in Parliament on July 13, just six days later.

Questions arise as to why he was even allowed to travel to Turkey, and also the possibility of crimes committed by public servants and the government, when he was not placed on a 14-day quarantine on his return. Even if he was allowed to freely move, any reasonable person would had known that they ought to have placed themselves at the very least under self-quarantine for 14 days.

Even after Minister Khairuddin’s presence in Parliament, when he should have been under quarantine, was discovered, the fact that he was not immediately detained and placed under quarantine also raises questions. In fact all Members of Parliament and staff, present on that day, should have at the very least been subjected to quarantine, and Parliament thereafter disinfected.

Are the police investigating the offence of attempted murder?

It was just reported that the police is yet to complete their investigation into the Mohd Khairuddin’s case. Bukit Aman CID deputy director DCP Mior Faridalathrash Wahid was quoted saying, “At the moment, the investigation paper is still open and we will send it to the Attorney General’s Chambers in the near future,”(Malay Mail, 2/9/2020).

Minister Khairuddin’s investigation should not be simply confined to crimes under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988, but must also include crimes under the Panal Code and other laws, including attempted murder and crimes of putting people at risk of being infected by life threatening diseases.

Even if the result of Khairuddin’s actions has allegedly infected no one, he can still be charged for the crime of attempted murder, attempted culpable homicide and other crimes.

One of the Malaysia’s Penal Code definition of murder is that ‘if the person committing the act knows that it is so imminently dangerous that it must in all probability cause death, or such bodily injury as is likely to cause death, and commits such act without any excuse for incurring the risk of causing death, or such injury as aforesaid.’(Section 300(d)), and for the lesser offence of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, it requires only that any actions/omissions was done ‘with the knowledge that he is likely by such act to cause death, commits the offence of culpable homicide.’(section 299).

The current sentence for attempted murder is ‘…imprisonment for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine…’(section 307) and for attempted culpable homicide, it is ‘imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine or with both’(section 308). If hurt, which reasonably would include being infected by Covid-19, then the sentence will be even higher.

Negligent act likely to spread infection of any disease dangerous to life (Section 269) is another Penal Code offence. ‘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, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine or with both’. There is also the offence of Malignant act likely to spread infection of any disease dangerous to life (Section 270) which provides for a higher sentence.

Equality and equal protection of the law – same treatment even if Minister

How the Khairuddin’s case is investigated and prosecuted will have a significant impact on the perception of the administration of justice in Malaysia, noting also that the Federal Constitution guarantees’ all persons equality and everyone is ‘entitled to the equal protection of the law.’  Special treatment of a sitting Minister and Members of Parliament will be wrong.

Many in Malaysia that violated laws relating to Covid-19 have been arrested, detained and even convicted by court. We recall an individual in the Sivagangga cluster for failure to remain under home quarantine, was recently convicted and sentenced to five months’ jail and fined RM12,000.(Malay Mail, 13/8/2020).

As such, MADPET urges that no special treatment be accorded to Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali, simply because he a member of a political party that is now forms the government.

Charge in Court, and not simply offer compound

MADPET also condemns the action of offering a compound of RM1,000 to this Member of Parliament, when he should be charged in court for his crime.(New Straits Times, 22/8/2020) A offer and payment of compound, which is an administrative action, generally precludes him from later being charged for the same offence in court. A compound in not a fine, for a fine is a sentenced imposed on a person convicted in court.

Compounds should justly never be offered to persons who breached quarantine and/or did something that knowingly putting others at imminent risk of a life-taking infectious disease, death or injury. Employers who breach laws that caused death or injury to workers should also never be compounded – they should be charged, tried and if convicted, sentenced by court.

The practice of ‘special treatment’ of Prime Ministers, Ministers and government politicians in the past in Malaysia have resulted in too many crimes going unpunished in the past for too long. The past Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and now past Finance Minister was charged only after they were not in government, and this is wrong for speedy investigation and prosecution is needed irrespective of whether they are Ministers or politicians of political parties, part of government. Delayed prosecution can result in further crimes committed by the same person.

No one is above the law, and that includes the Prime Minister and Ministers. What happens to Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali and all others that allowed these crimes to happen and/or continue matter, and will impact the perception of administration of justice in Malaysia.


Charles Hector

For and on behalf of MADPET (Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture)


Police expect to finalise probe on quarantine-breaking minister soon

Bukit Aman CID deputy director DCP Mior Faridalathrash Wahid says the police have not completed their investigation into Datuk Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali for violating the mandatory Covid-19 quarantine. — Bernama pic
Bukit Aman CID deputy director DCP Mior Faridalathrash Wahid says the police have not completed their investigation into Datuk Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali for violating the mandatory Covid-19 quarantine. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 2 — The police have not completed their investigation into Datuk Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali for violating the mandatory Covid-19 quarantine but should do so soon, said Bukit Aman CID deputy director DCP Mior Faridalathrash Wahid.

Mior said investigators still needed to verify some matters regarding the plantation industries and commodities minister’s failure to perform the compulsory 14-day quarantine after returning from Turkey in July.

"At the moment, the investigation paper is still open and we will send it to the Attorney General’s Chambers in the near future,” he was quoted as saying by Astro Awani today.

The police recorded Khairuddin’s statement late last month.

On August 13, Khairuddin’s predecessor, Seputeh MP Teresa Kok, pointed out that the minister was already back in Parliament on July 13 despite only returning to Malaysia six days prior.

Despite being fined RM1,000 over the incident, Khairuddin insisted he did nothing wrong by failing to observe the mandatory 14-day quarantine and described the matter as a procedural error.

Under the National Security Council’s SOP, all returnees are tested on arrival and those with negative results must then serve out their 14-day quarantine while those testing positive are sent to a hospital for further treatment.

A breach of this order is punishable under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 by up to two years’ imprisonment, a fine, or both upon conviction. - Malay Mail, 2/9/2020


Muhyiddin under quarantine after officer contracts Covid-19

Modified 22 May 2020, 7:26 pm

CORONAVIRUS | Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has been placed under a 14-day quarantine at home beginning today, after attending a meeting with a Covid-19 patient on Wednesday.

His office said Muhyiddin was tested for Covid-19 this morning and the results came back negative but he is required to undergo quarantine under Section 15 of the Prevention of Infectious Diseases Act 1988.

The Prime Minister’s Office said Muhyiddin was chairing a post-cabinet meeting at the office in Putrajaya that day. One of the officers present have since tested positive for Covid-19.

“All attendees at the meeting have also been ordered to undergo testing and quarantine at their respective homes for 14 days beginning today.

“For information, all meetings at the PMO practice social distancing and high levels of hygiene at all times,” the PMO said in a statement today.

Previously, Muhyiddin's predecessor Dr Mahathir Mohamad was placed under mandatory quarantine at home as well after taking a picture with Bandar Kuching MP Kelvin Yii who later tested positive for the disease.

Mahathir had tested negative for the disease and was released from quarantine when the quarantine period ended.

Malaysia has reported 78 new Covid-19 cases today, for a total of 7,137 cases since the beginning of the outbreak. One death was also reported today, involving a 65-year old man while multiple chronic diseases.

Of the latest cases, 53 were local transmissions while the remainder were imported cases.

Most of the cases (25) involve Pakistani nationals detained at an immigration detention facility in Bukit Jalil while another 11 are linked to the Sungai Lui cluster in Semenyih. - Malaysiakini, 22/5/2020


King, Queen complete self-quarantine, now free of Covid-19

KUALA LUMPUR: Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah have completed the 14-day self quarantine and were confirmed free from Covid-19.

Comptroller of the Royal Household for Istana Negara Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said Their Majesties and members of the royal family were in good health and had expressed appreciation to the people for their prayers and concerns over the safety and wellbeing of the royal family.

Their Majesties and the members of the royal family have observed self-quarantine at Istana Negara as advised by the Ministry of Health (MOH) after several of the palace staff were tested positive for Covid-19 two weeks ago.

“Following the positive cases, all 116 Istana Negara staff were instructed by the MOH to undergo Covid-19 screening and to observe 14-day self-quarantine, which ended today,” he said in a statement here today.

Ahmad Fadil said Al-Sultan Abdullah, who was concerned about the current Covid-19 situation, repeated his advice for the people to comply to the instructions given by the MOH and other authorities, especially in regard to self-quarantine and Movement Control Order (MCO).

“His Majesty also expressed his disappointment over the fact that there are certain people who selfishly refuse to comply with the MCO, hence causing an increase in the number of positive Covid-19 cases and red zones.

“Let’s play our roles together by staying at home to help flatten the curve of Covid-19 infection. If there is a need to go out, then wear a face mask and observe social distancing,” he said.

Ahmad Fadil said Al-Sultan Abdullah also conveyed his gratitude and appreciation to the MOH, Royal Malaysia Police and the Malaysian Armed Forces personnel, especially those in the frontline, for their sacrifices and perseverance in discharging their duties.

The high percentage of patients who have fully recovered from Covid-19 and the low mortality rate in Malaysia proved that the government has some of the best pandemic-handling methods in the world, he said.

“Their Majesties also extended their condolences to the families of all Covid-19 victims and hoped that their families will remain strong in facing this difficult time.

“Their Majesties also expressed hope that all Muslims in the country will continue praying for the grace and mercy of Allah so that Malaysia will always be protected and that the pandemic will end soon,” he added. – Bernama, New Straits Times, 9/4/2020

Ismail Sabri: Sivagangga cluster ‘Patient Zero’ jailed five months and fined

Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob speaking to the media in Kuala Lumpur August 3, 2020. — Bernama pic
Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob speaking to the media in Kuala Lumpur August 3, 2020. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 13 — The person responsible for the Sivagangga Covid-19 cluster in Kedah was sentenced to five months’ jail and fined RM12,000, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob revealed today.

The defence minister said the authorities viewed the transgression seriously in a stern warning to the public amid growing concern over the emergence of new clusters as the government has eased restrictions.

“PDRM has taken action against an individual in the Sivagangga cluster for failure to remain under home quarantine,” the defence minister said during a press conference held in the Parliament building here.

“As we all know, this individual was supposed to be under home quarantine but instead went out to open his restaurant, and as a result, a few villages in Kedah and Perlis had to be locked down because of this individual’s failure to observe the regulation or standard operating procedure.”

The emergence of new clusters has prompted calls for stern punishment against those found breaching the Covid-19 mandatory quarantine.

Lawyers polled by Malay Mail said there are laws that can be used against the violators following public uproar over news that a permanent resident in Kedah behind the so-called Sivagangga cluster had ignored the quarantine order.

The index patient who broke his mandatory home quarantine has been identified as causing at least 40 others to be infected, some of which were third-generation cases.

Ismail Sabri said today the authorities have acted against 270 individuals for failing to remain under home quarantine.

From July 24 to August 12, 10,173 persons returned from abroad and have been placed under quarantine in 59 designated hotels and public training facilities throughout the country, the minister said.

From the total, 44 patients were sent for treatment while 2,332 had been discharged.- Malay Mail, 13/8/2020

Khairuddin slapped with RM1,000 fine for breaching quarantine

KUALA LUMPUR: Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali was fined RM1,000 for failing to adhere to the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342), the Health Ministry said.

Khairuddin had been the centre of attention of late, after claims were made that he failed to observe the mandatory 14-day home quarantine after returning from a trip to Turkey on July 7.

In a statement today, the Health Ministry said the compound was issued to Dr Mohd Khairuddin on Aug 7 and that the minister has paid the amount.

"The Health Ministry issued a compound to Khairuddin after he was found to commit an offence under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures within the Infected Local Areas) Regulations 2020, the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342).

"Khairuddin had returned from Turkey on July 7, in which, his nasopharyngeal swab sample was taken for the first time on the same day and tested negative.

"The second and third Covid-19 screening conducted on him also showed that he is negative of the virus.

"Since Khairuddin had failed to adhere to the regulations under Act 342, the authorised officer has issued a RM1,000 compound against him on Aug 7 and he has settled the compound," the statement read.

Dr Mohd Khairuddin, who is also Kuala Nerus Member of Parliament, was previously alleged to have violated his compulsory isolation period after returning from Turkey, having been present during Dewan Rakyat proceedings in the 14-day period after arriving in Malaysia.

Khairuddin's alleged quarantine violation became a hot topic in Dewan Rakyat and created a social media storm.

Seputeh MP Teresa Kok claimed that the minister had been on an unofficial visit to Turkey from July 3 to 7, but had attended Parliament only a week later.

Malaysians returning from abroad and other nationals permitted to enter the country must undergo a 14-day compulsory quarantine even if their first Covid-19 test upon arrival came up negative. - New Straits Times, 22/8/2020


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