MPs, activists lodge police reports against ministers for pandemic 'negligence'

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MPs, activists lodge police reports against ministers for pandemic 'negligence'
MPs, activists lodge police reports against ministers for pandemic 'negligence'

A group of MPs and activists has lodged police reports against Health Minister Dr Adham Baba and other relevant ministers for their 'negligence' in handling the worsening Covid-19 pandemic.

“Unfortunately, the government has failed to carry out the duties and methods to control the spread of Covid-19 and prevent more Malaysians from becoming victims of this pandemic.

“After examining the Health Ministry’s data and the existing laws, I would like to ask the police to investigate the health ministry and any other ministers responsible in efforts to control the spread of Covid-19 under Section 269 and Section 304A of the Penal Code.

“This is because I find there was criminal negligence in carrying out the duties of the minister to the point of causing Covid-19 to spread in the community, which is dangerous and fatal,” read the police reports, which were lodged this morning at the Pantai police station in Kuala Lumpur.

The seven MPs who lodged the reports were Sepanggar MP Azis Jamman, Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil, Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii, Klang MP Charles Santiago, Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh, Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah, Kota Belud MP Isnaraissah Munirah Majilis, along with prominent activists Ambiga Sreenevasan and Marina Mahathir.

Section 269 of the Penal Code deals with a “negligent act likely to spread infection of any disease dangerous to life” whereas Section 304A deals with those “causing death by negligence”.

Among the examples of "negligence" given in the reports were insufficient early testing, ineffective contact tracing, insufficient data sharing, failing to impose quarantine on those returning from the Sabah state election last year, failing to impose science-based and facts-based SOPs, and failing to purchase vaccines earlier.

“We are now asking for accountability of this government, in the way that they have handled this crisis. We are talking about the lives of Malaysians and we take this very seriously.

“Hence, we have filed this report. They (the government) should know there are criminal consequences as well when they do not handle this Covid-19 crisis properly,” said Ambiga.

The country is likely to cross one million cumulative Covid-19 cases today and the total deaths are also close to 8,000, said Fahmi.

He added that they were especially disappointed in the “double standards” shown by the authorities in enforcing the SOPs between “VIPs” and ordinary citizens.

Meanwhile, Azis said Sabah is one of the states that has received the least amount of vaccines.

“This is disappointing when Sabah has such a wide area and is said to be the cause of the Covid-19 resurgence in Malaysia, but today we are the state receiving the least vaccines,” he lamented.

He also said there have been no efforts from the government to reach out to those who live in rural areas in Sabah with bad mobile connections, slowing down the vaccination rollout in the state.

He said it is no wonder Sabahans are confused due to the lack of synchronisation between the state and federal governments.

Yeoh stressed that the reports lodged were not against the frontliners, but against the executive branch of the government specifically.

“I hope the police will take these reports seriously and investigate this thoroughly,” she said.

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