Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali has come under fire again after a photo of him not wearing a mask in public went viral recently.
However, PAS central committee member Nik Abduh Nik Abdul Aziz defended him saying that “it’s good that he didn’t wear it”.
In a Facebook post on 2 November, Nik Abduh reasoned that it was good of Khairuddin not to wear a mask as he had demonstrated that there is a difference between a “crowded place, where it’s mandatory to wear a mask, and a non-crowded place, where it’s not mandatory to wear a mask.”
“Do not be influenced by the PH (Pakatan Harapan) kids who deliberately ‘viralise’ the pictures of the Minister who did not wear a face mask,” he said.
“This is an attempt to make the Rakyat more stupid.”
He then goes on to say that “praise and criticism are true and will only be rewarded for the right things.”
“Take a religious reminder that slander and spreading fake news is more rampant these days.”
So, was Khairuddin wrong for not wearing a mask in that photo?
On 1 August, the wearing of face masks were made mandatory in certain public places after Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s announcement. But many were confused as to what kind of public places he was referring to.
Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah then clarified what these places are and said that those who are walking alone, for example, are not required to wear a mask.
“If you are in public and the place is crowded and social distancing cannot be created, the use of face masks is mandatory,” he added.
However, from the photo of Khairuddin that went viral, he was not wearing a face mask while interacting with some elderly folk who had their own masks on. Unless he had ensured to keep a distance from them, it is unclear if physical distancing was followed as we do not know the situation that took place as demonstrated in the photo.
About two months ago, there was an outcry among Malaysians who pointed out the double standards of the government when Khairuddin was let off the hook after breaching his home quarantine order. He had attended a Dewan Rakyat meeting after returning from Turkey and was only imposed a fine of RM1,000 while other ordinary citizens who had violated the same rule were imposed a heavier fine.
Had Khairuddin violated standard operating procedures (SOP) again? What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.