It is baffling how politicians take the people for granted. They think the rakyat have short memories and will accept unquestionably whatever happens or is done at a particular moment.
Those days are long gone. While the hardcore supporters will always stick to their YB, the public generally is speaking up more and more against transgressions, regardless which party a politician is from.
The latest issue involving Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali is ample proof of that.
Khairuddin broke the 14-day home quarantine ruling when he returned from Turkey on July 7.
When the matter was brought into the open a few days ago, the people were furious because Khairuddin had not only broken a rule, he had put others in jeopardy by still attending functions.
His only defence is that he had tested negative three times. Nobody is disputing that. The issue is he broke the law. Why the double standards? And the people are rightfully asking that. Are there two sets of laws – one for the ordinary folk and another for those in government?
Many other questions have arisen in the light of this episode:
Was Khairuddin made to wear the pink wristband?
If he was, did he remove it? And if he wasn’t, why?
Why did Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah say on Aug 19 that claims of Khairuddin breaching the quarantine would be investigated?
Didn’t the ministry issue a statement today that the minister had already been compounded RM1,000 on Aug 7?
Wasn’t Dr Noor Hisham aware of that? He must have done his homework as he always has during the Movement Control order period. Did he falter on this one?
What about others who were on the trip with Khairuddin? His family? His delegation? Did they remain in quarantine and were they also tested three times like Khairuddin? Were they given pink wristbands or were they left to go out and do as they wished?
Unless the government, particularly the Health Ministry, acts fast to clarify, don’t blame the people as the uproar will continue for a while.
Worse, it’s a question of credibility now, especially for the ministry and its director-general, having done an outstanding job during the Covid-19 pandemic.
How is the government to pacify the people and keep telling them to wear face masks in public, not to defy the law, practise distancing, etc? What if they refuse and use Khairuddin’s case as an example of how to get away easily?
Khairuddin said today he is giving four months of his minister’s salary to the Covid-19 fund to show remorse.
Sorry, but that’s not good enough. The trust has been lost, sir.
Maybe Khairuddin needs to show his bank slip to convince the people he did that.
The people want some real answers. Anyone out there?