MPs question why Kitingan in Parliament, not in quarantine after Sabah trip

25-Nov-2020 Intellasia | Malaysiakini | 6:51 AM Print This Post

Opposition lawmakers questioned why Jeffrey Kitingan (STAR-Keningau) was allowed to be in the Dewan Rakyat today, less than 14 days after he returned from Sabah.

They then accused the authorities of harbouring double standards after it was revealed that the health ministry had given him permission to attend today’s sitting.

Mohd Azis Jamman (Warisan-Sepanggar) arose this morning to question Kitingan’s presence when he had last been in Sabah on November 12.

He pointed out that all Sabah MPs are required to undergo a mandatory two-week quarantine upon returning from the state.

If Kitingan had arrived in Kuala Lumpur on November 12, his 14-day quarantine order would only expire on Thursday, November 26.After other MPs proposed Kitingan be ejected from the House pending an explanation, deputy Speaker Azalina Othman Said read out a response from the Dewan Rakyat secretary on the matter.

“This is the answer from the Dewan Rakyat secretary, he (Kitingan) was allowed to attend (today’s sitting) by the parliament clinic doctor because he received a recare order from the health ministry after completing his quarantine,” she said.

Azalina later clarified to say Kitingan had received a “relief order” but did not elaborate.

This explanation led to shouts of “double standard” in the House.

Azis remarked that the exception was unfair when Sabah lawmakers like him had to adhere to it.

“It is unfair that Keningau is allowed to enter the House. This is also a security concern for us as MPs,” he said.

Azalina then urged all dissatisfied MPs to seek an explanation with Speaker Azhar Azisan Harun.

Despite being in the House during the back and forth, Kitingan did not arise to offer any explanation.

Kitingan shares release form

Contacted by Malaysiakini, Kitingan shared a copy of his home quarantine release form.

Dated November 23, the health ministry said he was previously identified as a close contact of a Covid-19 case and was initially placed under a home surveillance order from November 12 to November 25.

“Following the assessment carried out by our ministry, your health status was found to be satisfactory. Therefore, you are given clearance from undergoing supervision and observation [...] starting from the date mentioned below (November 23),” it said.

The form was signed by a health officer from the Lembah Pantai health department.

Malaysiakini is seeking clarification from the health ministry over Kitingan’s exemption from the standard 14-day quarantine order applied to Sabah MPs.


Category: Malaysia

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