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Tuesday, September 1, 2020

'Outrageous' to compare Khairuddin to hudhud bird, says senator

Malaysiakini

Senator Aiman Athirah Sabu has chastised PAS spiritual leader Hashim Jasin (above) for coming to Khairuddin Aman Razali’s defence by comparing the minister and his quarantine breach to the hoopoe or hudhud bird featured in the Quran.
Aiman said there is no comparison between the hoopoe bird featured in the Quran and the plantation, industries, and commodities minister's disregard for quarantine rules.
She said the story of the hoopoe bird took place outside of a pandemic situation, whereas the current Covid-19 pandemic has affected at least 25.1 million people around the world and killed more than 844,000 of them.
In addition, she said, Prophet Soloman did not issue a 14-day quarantine requirement that is now widely applied across the world today.
“The PAS spiritual leader’s likening of the minister Khairuddin’s visit to Turkey with the story of the hoopoe bird and Prophet Soloman, as told in the Holy Quran, is reckless and outrageous.
“This could invite negative perceptions of Islam itself. The comparison is also inaccurate and absolutely inappropriate,” Aiman, the PAS women’s wing chief, said in a statement last night.
She said legal action should be taken against all violators, regardless of their stature, and six leaders from around the world have already resigned from their respective governments for failing to abide with instructions and procedures in relation to Covid-19.
Aiman also said Hashim should not have blamed the Foreign Affairs Ministry and Health Ministry for supposedly failing to make Khairuddin wear a pink wristband, which others instructed to undergo quarantine have to wear.
“As a cabinet member, Khairuddin should know better about the order to wear the pink wristband and undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine upon returning from abroad, since this is a cabinet decision.
“The information is also frequently publicised by the government through both the print and electronic media.
“Islam teaches us the importance of obeying the law and to ensure the welfare and safety of the public. Therefore, I would like to urge Hashim to give the correct facts before making statements defending Khairuddin,” she said.
Yesterday, Hashim had lauded Khairuddin as a hero and blamed his failure to adhere to quarantine rules on “negligence” by the Health Ministry and the Foreign Affairs Ministry.
'He is a hero, like the hoopoe bird'
He likened Khairuddin’s trip to Turkey in July to the hoopoe bird in the Quran, which was thought to have breached the rules set by Prophet Solomon but its action was believed to have led to the conversion of Queen Balqis to Islam.
“He (Khairuddin) broke the rules but he brought benefit. He is a hero, like the hoopoe bird that was going to be punished when it was actually a hero,” Hashim said.
The government has not offered any specific information about the trip, and Khairuddin claimed it was a “semi-official” trip to negotiate a project involving Terengganu and other matters relating to palm oil.
Certain quarters have claimed he went to bring home investments for the country, but the claim has yet to be verified.
Khairuddin has been slapped with an RM1,000 compound for the offence and a police investigation is underway.
He has apologised and pledged to donate his salary from May to August to the country’s Covid-19 fund, but resisted calls for his resignation. - Mkini

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