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Monday, August 31, 2020

PAS spiritual leader defends Khairuddin, lays blame on Health, Foreign ministries

Malaysiakini

PAS spiritual leader Hashim Jasin has deemed PAS Minister Khairuddin Aman Razali a “hero” whose failure to adhere to mandatory quarantine was due to “negligence” by the Health and Foreign Affairs Ministries.
Hashim even likened the primary industries and commodities minister to the hoopoe or hud hud bird which is featured in the Quran.
Hence, the latest PAS leader to come to the Khairuddin’s defence called on party members to stand by the latter.
Khairuddin, Hashim said, could not be blamed for not being made to wear the pink wristband, signalling those who are to undergo the two-week mandatory home quarantine, upon his return from Turkey last month.
“It’s not his fault…The Health Ministry was negligent, so was the Foreign Affairs Ministry, causing him to be attacked.
“PAS should not keep quiet. He is a hero of the people who saved Malaysia and he is getting maligned... don’t let him defend himself alone,” Hashim can be heard saying during a speech in Ipoh on Saturday.
A video of the speech, at the state PAS annual general assembly, was uploaded on Facebook.
In referencing the Quran, Hashim said Khairuddin was akin to the hoopoe bird who 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.”
The hoopoe - recognised by its striking orange crest and black and white striped wings - is the national bird of Israel and is sometimes seen in Malaysia.
Kuala Nerus MP Khairuddin has been under fire, with calls for his resignation for disregarding the government’s standard operating procedure for Covid-19 safety.
He returned to Malaysia on July 7 but was spotted at several events, including the Parliament session on July 13.
The government and Khairuddin have not offered specifics as to the purpose of the trip abroad although certain quarters have claimed he went to bring home investments for the country.
This claim is, however, not verified.
Hoopoe defence ‘unnecessary’
However, Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI) associate professor Rozaimi Ramle “there is no need” for the minister to be equated to the hoopoe in the bid to defend him.
“Enough. Enough justifying the minister’s wrongdoing of not following quarantine SOP. He had been compounded by the Health Ministry.
“There is no need to link him to the tale of the hud hud during Prophet Solomon’s time.
“He has taken responsibility in returning a part of his salaries,” said Rozaimi in a Facebook posting referring to Khairuddin’s pledge to donate his May-August salary to the Covid-19 fund.
The minister was fined RM1,000 - the maximum fine provided for under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 - on Aug 7.
The RM1,000 fine raised the question of a double standard after several members of the public were also handed more severe punishments by the courts for violating the home quarantine order.
Khairuddin is now being investigated by police over the matter. He had apologised but maintains he did not err in his duties.
Other PAS leaders to have defended Khairuddin include PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man and Johor PAS deputy head Mohd Mazri Yahya. - Mkini

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