Triple national celebrations this year marred by a Minister who openly shows contempt and breaches Rukunegara

The triple national celebrations this year – the National Day, Malaysia Day and 50th anniversary of Rukunegara – are marred by a Minister who openly shows contempt and breaches the Rukunegara.

What is the lesson from the shocking episode where a Cabinet Minister did not undergo the stipulated 14-day quarantine after returning from an overseas trip?

The message from this shocking episode is that 63 years after Merdeka, 57 years after the formation of Malaysia and on the Golden Jubilee of Rukunegara, there is no rule of law as there are two classes of Malaysians – the ordinary Malaysians who must abide by the law and the VVIPs who can defy the law.

The reasons that have been given to justify the defiance of the law are most unbelievable – firstly, that the Minister had undergone a special Covid-19 test upon returning to Malaysia on July 7 following a visit to Turkey on July 3 – 7, when ordinary Malaysians who went overseas and came back must be quarantined for 14 days; secondly, that the Minister’s trip was approved by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and that Turkey was categorised as a “green country (zone)”.

The Prime Minister must explain to Malaysians what was the reason for him to give authorisation for the Minister concerned to visit Turkey, and to defy the Covid-19 SOP, and who declared Turkey was a “green country (zone) for Covid-19 ” – whether the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Turkish Government or the Malaysian Cabinet?

The Covid-19 disease was confirmed to have reached Turkey on 11 March 2020, the day WHO declared it a pandemic. The first death due to COVID-19 in the country occurred on 15 March 2020 and by 1 April, it was confirmed that COVID-19 had spread all over Turkey.

When the Malaysian Minister visited Turkey for five days in July, there were over 1,000 cases of new Covid-19 infections for each day, with the total of Covid-19 cases exceeding 200,000 cases during the period.

On 19 April 2020, the number of confirmed cases in Turkey surpassed those of Iran, making it the most affected country in terms of cases in the Middle East. Turkey also surpassed China in confirmed cases on 20 April.

The latest data for Turkey is a total of 253,108 Covid-19 cases and 6,039 deaths, and Turkey is regarded as one of the ten top Asian countries for Covid-19 infections. When did Turkey become a Covid-19 “green country (zone)” and who declared it?

If the Minister concerned and/or the government can lie about the Covid-19 situation in Turkey, this marks a most ironic Golden Jubilee celebration for Rukunegara, whose fifth principle is “Courtesy and Morality”!

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri