Here’s the full list of Malaysia’s ministers, lawmakers who tested Covid-19 positive in January

Ida Lim
·9-min read
A total 16 federal and state lawmakers, including ministers, tested positive for Covid-19 in January. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
A total 16 federal and state lawmakers, including ministers, tested positive for Covid-19 in January. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 27 — January is not even over, and already Malaysia has 16 federal and state lawmakers, including ministers, who were this month confirmed to have contracted Covid-19.

Curious to know how they are doing and how many have recovered? Read on.

They are listed chronologically according to the dates they tested positive or were informed of their results, instead of according to the dates when their results were announced to the public:

1. Sabah Deputy Chief Minister II Datuk Seri Jeffrey Kitingan, Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (Star)

Kitingan, who is also Sabah state agriculture and fisheries minister, Keningau MP and Tambunan assemblyman, was announced on January 4 to have been admitted to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kota Kinabalu for treatment after testing positive in a January 3 swab test.

The Star president was the second known Sabah state leader to contract Covid-19, after Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Mohd Noor who was also similarly hospitalised in October 2020 before being discharged upon recovery.

Status: On January 16 afternoon, Kitingan and his wife Datin Seri Cecilia Kitingan were discharged from Queen Elizabeth Hospital upon recovery from Covid-19.

2. Sabah’s Tandek assemblyman Hendrus Anding, Parti Bersatu Sabah

Hendrus, who is the state assistant agriculture and fisheries minister and PBS assistant secretary-general, was reported on January 9 to have been placed in a low-risk centre in Kota Belud since testing positive on January 5.

Status: On January 17, Hendrus said that he had been discharged from the Kota Belud Covid-19 quarantine and low-risk treatment centre (PKRC) on January 15.

3. Sabah's Bingkor assemblyman Datuk Robert Tawik, Star

Tawik, who is also Star vice-president and assistant public works minister for Sabah, tested positive on January 8 and was admitted to Sabah’s Keningau Hospital on the same day.

Status: On January 17 evening, it was announced on his Facebook page that he had been discharged from the quarantine centre at Keningau’s sports complex, with Tawik expressing gratitude to the staff at both the Keningau Hospital and the quarantine centre.

4. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu)

On January 10, his office announced that Mustapa had tested positive on the night of January 9 after undergoing a test that morning, and that the MP for Jeli, Kelantan had been admitted on January 9 at the Hospital Raja Perempuan Zainab II in Kota Baru.

Status: On January 21, Mustapa on his Facebook announced that he was discharged that afternoon after spending 12 days in the hospital — including three days in the intensive care unit (ICU) when he had difficulty breathing and lacked energy. He said he now needed to rest more, work less, and not meet large numbers of people.

On January 25, Mustapa started his first day back at the office with an online meeting with the Economic Action Council.

5. Kelantan’s Nenggiri elected representative Ab Aziz Yusoff, Umno

Ab Aziz tested positive on January 8 after going for a test on January 7, and was admitted to Hospital Kuala Krai in Kelantan.

Status: On his Facebook page, Ab Aziz announced that he was on January 16 allowed to return home after eight days at the hospital. He later spent three days at home to complete the 14-day quarantine period, and was on January 20 officially released from quarantine.

6. Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun, Bersatu

Rina was informed of her Covid-19 positive test results on January 10 night, after having undergone a test the same morning. The Titiwangsa MP and Bersatu women wing chief was then admitted to the Hospital Sungai Buloh at 11am on January 11. Her 70-year-old mother underwent a swab test on January 11 and subsequently also tested positive.

Status: On January 20, Rina announced on her Facebook page that both she and her mother have recovered from Covid-19 and were allowed to return home on that day, after undergoing treatment and quarantine at the Hospital Sungai Buloh.

7. Kelantan’s Galas state assemblyman (Adun) Mohd Syahbuddin Hashim, Umno

On his Facebook page, Mohd Syahbuddin had on January 9 said he was labelled a close contact to a Covid-19 patient and had to undergo quarantine at home. Both he and his wife were confirmed on January 11 to have tested positive for Covid-19. Their children later tested negative.

Status: On January 19, Mohd Syahbuddin was discharged from a hospital in Kuala Krai. Both he and his wife later continued their quarantine at home, and on January 23 were released from quarantine.

8. Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin, Bersatu

Hamzah, who is also Larut MP and Bersatu secretary-general, was told on January 12 morning that he had tested positive after having went for a Covid-19 screening on January 11, with all his close contacts from January 8 to January 11 told to undergo Covid-19 tests.

Status: Amid online rumours claiming that he was warded in the ICU, the home minister’s office on January 20 issued a statement to say that Hamzah was receiving treatment and undergoing quarantine at the University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) with stable health condition, and that official updates on his health condition would only be issued by the home minister’s office.

On January 27, national news agency Bernama reported that Hamzah was discharged on January 24 after fully recovering from Covid-19.

9. Johor’s Parit Yaani state assemblyman Aminolhuda Hassan, Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah)

On January 12, Aminolhuda who is also Johor Amanah chairman, tested positive for Covid-19.

He had shared on Facebook that his medical doctor son who brought him to the clinic on January 11 had later tested positive on January 24 after having tested negative twice (January 13, January 20) while undergoing a 10-day quarantine.

Aminolhuda on January 25 also suggested that delays at public medical facilities to have him screened for Covid-19 had contributed to his wife, his grandchild and three of his assistants testing positive, and that it was only at a private clinic on January 12 that he was tested for Covid-19. He proposed that the Health Ministry take quick action by testing all patients who have fever and cough with the fastest RTK Covid-19 test kit.

Status: On January 26, Aminolhuda said he has been allowed to be discharged from Hospital Sultanah Aminah in Johor Baru on that day, after spending 14 days in the hospital.

10. Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin, Umno

On January 13, the Padang Besar MP’s Covid-19 test results returned positive, after having undergone the test on January 11. He was admitted to Hospital Sungai Buloh in Selangor.

Status: On January 24, Zahidi was discharged from Hospital Sungai Buloh at 5pm, after having spent 11 days receiving treatment there.

11. Kelantan’s Gua Musang MP Tan Sri Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, Umno

On January 13, Tengku Razaleigh --- popularly known as Ku Li --- tested positive and was warded at the University Malaya Medical Centre, and was reported to be in stable condition. He was believed to have been a close contact of the Nenggiri assemblyman Ab Aziz.

12. Dewan Negara lawmaker Idris Ahmad, PAS

Idris said he was on January 11 notified that he had been identified as a close contact and had decided to self-quarantine before taking a swab test the next day.

The PAS vice-president was notified on January 14 night that he had tested positive, and was on January 15 told to self-quarantine at home with the Taiping district health office calling him daily to check on his status.

Status: He was released from quarantine on January 22. He said he did not have any symptoms throughout his quarantine period such as difficulty in breathing or loss of sense of smell, and only had the occasional cough.

13. Umno’s Padang Rengas MP Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz

On January 18, Nazri tested positive after taking a swab test that day and was admitted to the Hospital Raja Perempuan Zainab II in Kota Baru, Kelantan. He had decided to go for a screening as his January 12 news conference was attended by Umno blogger Datuk Zaharin Mohd Yasin, as the latter tested positive on January 14 for Covid-19 and as they were close at the event.

His wife, his four-year-old son and an assistant later tested positive on January 19 and will be undergoing a 10-day quarantine at home in Bachok, Kelantan.

14. National Unity Minister Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique, Umno

On January 19, the Kota Tinggi MP was confirmed to have tested positive after undergoing Covid-19 screening on January 18. Her ministry said she would undergo treatment and quarantine under close monitoring by the Health Ministry in Johor Baru.

15. Terengganu’s Kijal assemblyman, former Terengganu mentri besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Said, Umno

On January 19, the Terengganu Umno chief and Terengganu Barisan Nasional chief said he and his wife tested positive in the Covid-19 screening on January 17. The two of them were warded at the Hospital Sultanah Nur Zahirah in Kuala Terengganu.

16. Perak’s Pasir Salak MP Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman, Umno

On January 20, the Prasarana Malaysia Berhad chairman and Umno supreme council member was confirmed to be positive after taking the Covid-19 test on January 19. He had sat next to Nazri at the January 12 press conference.

Prasarana on the same day instructed its staff who were close contacts of Tajuddin to undergo Covid-19 screening and asked other staff to self-quarantine and also said it would sanitise its headquarters, while Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Umno former president Datuk Seri Najib Razak — who had both reportedly met Tajuddin just days before he tested positive — both went for Covid-19 tests on January 20 and both tested negative on January 21.

Out of the 16 listed lawmakers who contracted Covid-19 within just three weeks of January 2021, 11 of them are publicly known to have already been discharged or released from quarantine.

PKR’s Dewan Negara lawmaker Yaakob Sapari had initially tested positive using the faster but less sensitive Antigen Rapid Test Kit (RTK-AG) test, but on January 16 tested negative via the more accurate Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test.

Others who had reportedly tested positive recently include Gua Musang Umno youth chief Mohd Azmawi Fikri Abdul Ghani, Gua Musang Umno deputy Wanita chief Ruhaida Abdul Hamid, Tengku Razaleigh’s aide Mohd Lokman Abdul Ghani, Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan’s political secretary Datuk Khamarulazlan Mohammad Hanafiah (January 16), and Sepang Bersatu chief Datuk Suhaimi Ghazali.

In 2020, at least 10 politicians and lawmakers contracted Covid-19, including Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Islamic Affairs) Datuk Seri Zulkifli Mohamad and Deputy Environment and Water Minister Datuk Ahmad Masrizal Muhammad. Both Zulkifli and Masrizal have since recovered.