New gazette: Only three days quarantine for “invincible” ministers, MPs cringe

IN a decision that is sure to spark an outcry, the Health Ministry had issued a Federal Government Gazette which allows Cabinet Ministers to quarantine themselves for only three days upon returning from official overseas trip.

The gazette, made under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Exemption) Order 2021, was dated yesterday and signed by Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba.

“Subject to Paragraph 3, the Minister exempts Cabinet of Ministers who returns from any overseas official visit from the application of Section 15 of the Act.

“The Cabinet of Ministers who returns from any overseas official visit shall undergo observation for three days or undergo surveillance until be discharged without danger to the public,” the gazette reads.


Unimpressed by Adham’s exemption, former Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye decried the blatant double standards, which could potentially lead to a spike in COVID-19 cases.

“Why the double standards? Can’t Ministers work from home like others? Why can’t Ministers stay at home when you force the public to do it during the MCO?

Dr Lee Boon Chye

“Even students have their classes online at this unprecedented time. Why can’t our Ministers hold virtual meetings?” he told FocusM. 

“Ministers cluster’ in the making

Lee voiced his concerns saying that one may only experience COVID-19 symptoms a week after returning from a foreign nation.

“When the symptoms start after the seventh day of arrival, the infections will start on the fifth day.

“With the three-day quarantine period for Ministers, it may create a ‘Ministers cluster’, as the latter interact with people frequently,” the Gopeng MP stressed.

On that note, former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak also lashed out at Adham, adding that the decision would only anger the already stressed out rakyat.

“Among the dissatisfaction the public has is the double standards in enforcing the movement control order (MCO) and yet the Government adds fuel into the fire with this decision.

“This is absurd. Ministers quarantine for three days while the public has to quarantine for 10 days. Remember, COVID-19 doesn’t care about your social status,” the Pekan MP remarked. – Feb 9, 2021.


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