- UPDATED 5.20PM | Added Khairuddin's pledge to donate four months of his ministerial salary to Covid-19 fund.
The Health Ministry today confirmed that Plantation, Industries and Commodities Minister Khairuddin Aman Razali had breached Covid-19 quarantine rules after he returned from Turkey on July 7.
The ministry said, as a result, Khairuddin was fined RM1,000 on Aug 7. He has since apologised and vowed to donate his ministerial salary from May to August to the country's Covid-19 fund.
"As Khairuddin failed to abide by the rules under Act 342 (Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988), the officer-in-charge issued an RM1,000 compound against Khairuddin on Aug 7 and he has settled the compound," the Health Ministry said in a statement today.
Khairuddin underwent a nasopharyngeal swab upon returning on July 7 and the result was negative for Covid-19. He was tested two subsequent times after, which also returned negative, it added.
The Health Ministry did not go into detail about the offence committed by the Kuala Nerus MP other than to say he had violated the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures within the Infected Local Areas) Regulations (Number 7) 2020 under Act 342.
In a separate statement later, the minister apologised for breaking quarantine.
"A million apologies to all Malaysians on the mistake that happened. As a minister, I am responsible for following the rules and SOPs," he said.
As an expression of him taking responsibility, Khairuddin said he would be donating his salary as a minister from May to August to the Covid-19 fund. Previously, all cabinet ministers had also given up their March and April salaries to the same fund.
The statement did not mention whether Khairuddin's entourage had also breached Covid-19 regulations and if they were fined.
The announcement came five days after Seputeh MP Teresa Kok revealed in the Dewan Rakyat that Khairuddin did not undergo quarantine upon returning to Malaysia. He attended Parliament six days later, on July 13.
The fine was dated exactly a month after his return and was only revealed 15 days after the issuance following attention given to the matter in the Dewan Rakyat.
The fine was not known when Kok raised Khairuddin's alleged offence in Parliament.
The Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures within the Infected Local Areas) Regulations (Number 7) 2020, among others, require overseas returnees to undergo a compulsory 14-day quarantine.
All returnees must undergo a swab test for Covid-19 and be subsequently sent to a quarantine centre to carry out a 14-day isolation period.
Prior to July 24, overseas returnees who test negative must still undergo quarantine but were allowed to do so at home.
They were not allowed to leave home for 14 days and must be retested on the 13th day before their quarantine bracelet can be removed. Khairuddin allegedly did not undergo this process.
From July 24 onwards, quarantine must be done at government-designated centres. The measure was reintroduced after many violated their quarantine conditions at home.
Khairuddin's case had received national attention amid complaints that regular Malaysians are treated more harshly than VIPs.
On Aug 14, a 72-year-old woman was fined RM8,000 and given a day in jail for violating a home quarantine order. A retest found her to be positive with Covid-19.
On Aug 13, 57-year-old Nezar Mohamed Sabur Batcha was fined RM12,000 and sentenced to five months in jail for violating a home quarantine order. He was the index case for the Sivagangga cluster.