THE Perikatan Nasional government should by now feel duty bound to at least be seen to uphold the law after a continuous string of blatant flouting of Movement Control Order (MCO) regulations by their representatives, from ministers to state leaders, members of parliament and branch chiefs.
Such instances have even triggered harsh criticism from within the Perikatan Nasional bloc itself, with former Johor Menteri Besar and Umno supreme council member Khaled Nordin lambasting deputy Health Minister I Noor Azmi Ghazali.
Noor Azmi made headlines after showcasing his own ignorance by sharing on social media pictures his visit to a tahfiz school in Lenggong on Friday, where he also held mass prayers, in total defiance of his ministry’s own guidelines.
“Not any deputy minister, but the deputy minister of health, has displayed such ignorance during this MCO period. In New Zealand, its Health Minister resigned after being caught flouting lockdown regulations.
“The same public uproar was triggered in the UK over their housing minister and in South Africa over their communications minister, over the same matter. We don’t want to have different sets of rule. Leadership has to be by example,” Khaled wrote.
Former PKR youth chief Ezam Mohd Nor was more brutal in his assessment, stating that with no strong stand made by the government on the matter thus far, definitive action could be an even more far fetched suggestion.
“Since the MCO was enforced in this country, we have seen a lot of violations. But enforcement over these violations are clearly selective, unprofessional and unfair,” said Ezam.
“The federal deputy minister, the state exco (Razman Zakaria) openly and blatantly violated the MCO,” he added, pointing to the pictures uploaded by Noor Azmi on his Facebook page, showing a large group having a lunch gathering, while Razman in his posting stated they had also held mass prayers.
“Prior to that, many other political leaders, ministers were pictured going on non-essential visits to their constituencies, having birthday parties and many more. So far, none of them have been detained or even prosecuted in court!” quipped Ezam.
Terengganu Menteri Besar Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar was also pictured meeting with state Umno chief Ahmad Said, with group pictures emerging showcasing a congregation of about 20 people on Friday, among others.
“At the same time thousands of ordinary people have been remanded, prosecuted, fined and imprisoned for the exact same offences,” said Ezam.
“This is the look of a government built on treachery, with no moral value and no honor. A government like this will have no intention of upholding the law. Until today, no political leader has been arrested and imprisoned for their crimes,” said Ezam.
“In Malaysia political leaders are invincible, can take away billions of country’s possessions, have sex videos, break the MCO order, all free, free! We cannot allow this country to continue to do so. A developed and respected country must be seen to uphold the law.”
However, media reported that Perak police chief Razarudin Husain stated yesterday that Noor Azmi and Razman had adhered to social distancing guidelines during their visit, prompting a further uproar from netizens, echoing Ezam’s exact sentiments and allegations over the double standards.
The pressure continued to pile on the government, as the floodgates opened with more images of ministers, deputy ministers and members of parliament blatantly flouting MCO regulations through non-essential visits and official functions with large gatherings.