Muhyiddin should direct his Health Minister Adham Baba to retract his quarantine rules to uphold the Prime Minister’s own pledge that there will be no double-standards in Covid-19 quarantine SOP

The Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin should direct his Health Minister, Dr. Adham Baba to retract his Covid-19 quarantine rules to uphold the Prime Minister’s own pledge that there will be no double standards in Covid-19 quarantine SOPs.

In October last year, Muhyiddin pledged in a special address to the nation over television on the latest Covid-19 situation in the country that there would be no practice of double standards in complying with Covid-19 quarantine orders.

The prime minister said he himself and his ministers were not exempted from adhering to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) set by the Health Ministry in this matter.

He declared:

“I, as the prime minister, am not exempted from complying with the SOPs. This is the second time that I am observing home quarantine since the pandemic hit the country. I must comply with the rules”.

Muhyiddin said then that observing the home quarantine along with him were seven ministers and six deputy ministers. All of them had attended a meeting, chaired by Muhyiddin, where a minister was later found to be COVID-19 positive.

He said: “They (the ministers and deputy ministers) must comply with the rules. Action can be taken against them for breaching the rules.”

Muhyiddin said COVID-19 can infect anyone for the disease does not differentiate between status and position and that the SOPs must be adhered to by everyone.

The “air suam” Health Minister is irrelevant in the war against the Covid-19 pandemic, as the country has operated for the last one year’s pandemic war as if there was no Health Minister.

But is the Prime Minister of Malaysia’s pledge to count for nothing that the Heath Minister can now gazette double standards for complying with Covid-19 quarantine SOP for Ministers which made nonsense of the Prime Minister’s assertion last October that “I am the most obedient person”?

At stake is not the credibility of the “air suam” Health Minister, who has zero credibility, but that of the Prime Minister himself – whether his credibility is no better than that of the “air suam” Health Minister?

In one of his telecasts to the nation last October, Muhyiddin said: “If anyone breaks the law, compounds and other punishments will be imposed, regardless of one’s rank or position. I’m sorry if ‘Abah’ starts using the ‘rotan’.”

Is he going to start using the “rotan” against his own Health Minister?

Muhyiddin should also be mindful of the constitutional guarantee of equality before the law for all Malaysians as entrenched in Article 8 of the Malaysian Constituion.

It is tragic that at a time when the government’s priority should be to restore public trust, confidence and support for the national strategy in the war against the Covid-19 pandemic, as launching an “all-of-government” and “whole-of-society” strategy and approach, the government is doing the opposite – doing everything possible to undermine further pubic trust, confidence and support like Adham Baba’s double standards for Ministers on the Covid-19 quarantine SOP.

Is this the latest proof that the government of Malaysia now fully qualifies to be called a kakistocracy?

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri