GERIK, Perak: Malaysia’s Deputy Health Minister I Noor Azmi Ghazali and a state executive councillor from Perak pleaded guilty to breaching the movement control order (MCO) at a magistrate’s court on Tuesday (Apr 28).
Noor Azmi, a member of parliament for Bagan Serai, and Razman Zakaria, who is the chairman of Perak state education, human resource development, non-governmental organisation and civil society committee, were fined RM1,000 (US$228), according to Malaysian media.
They were charged for violating the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures within Infected Local Areas) Regulations 2020, which provide for a maximum fine of RM1,000 or a jail term not more than six months, or both.
The duo were photographed sharing a meal with a group of people at a tahfiz (religious school) in Lenggong, Perak on Apr 18, following the deputy minister’s official visit to the local health clinic.
The photos, uploaded on Noor Azmi’s Facebook page and later deleted, drew brickbats for violating the MCO, which bars public gatherings as well as domestic and international travels.
Enforced since Mar 18 and extended for three times until May 12, the MCO aims at breaking the infection chain to stop the spread of COVID-19.
The deputy health minister has earlier apologised for the incident.
“I also appreciate the great sacrifices made by the frontliners such as the police, the Malaysian Armed Forces, the Ministry of Health personnel and other government agencies involved in the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak. Thank you for your service and sacrifices," he said.
A police investigation was conducted and the deputy minister’s statement was recorded at the Putrajaya district police headquarters on Apr 20.
Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Shah, has on Apr 23 called on all leaders to fully comply with the MCO.
“His Majesty also called on those at the leadership level to show good example to the people by being in full compliance with the MCO,” Comptroller of the Perak Royal Household, Colonel (Retired) Abd Rahim Mohamad Nor, said in a statement.