Malaysians call on Health Minister to resign after relaxing COVID-19 rules for ministers

Screengrab of the #AdhamBabaLetakJawatan hashtag over a photo of Adham Baba speaking at a press conference. Photo: Coconuts
Screengrab of the #AdhamBabaLetakJawatan hashtag over a photo of Adham Baba speaking at a press conference. Photo: Coconuts

Some Malaysians are calling on Health Minister Adham Baba to resign after he announced relaxed COVID-19 rules for his fellow cabinet ministers. 

The 58-year-old announced yesterday that cabinet ministers will be allowed to serve shorter quarantine periods of only three days instead of 10 days upon returning from abroad. The new measure, which is effective from today till August, also allows ministers to return to work immediately after isolating.

“Why the double standards?” a critic known as @ASAbdull1 wrote on Twitter. “Does COVID-19 have a different incubation period for ministers?”

Since the announcement, the hashtag #AdhamBabaLetakJawatan (Resign, Adham Baba) has been trending on social media with nearly 6,000 tweets as of this morning. 

Adham had signed a federal gazette under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act to allow the new rule to take effect. Ministers were previously required to test negative before they can be discharged from isolation. Under Adham’s latest measures, this is also no longer needed. Other Malaysians returning from overseas, however, still have to be quarantined for 10 to 14 days at designated quarantine centers.

Read: Malaysia’s King declares state of emergency as COVID-19 spirals out of control

Others who criticized Adham’s announcement pointed out the spread of COVID-19 among ministers themselves. Five ministers including National Unity Minister Halimah Mohamed Sadique were among those who contracted the virus last month.

“We can barely manage the current #klustermenteri (current wave) and yet he wants to add #klustermenteri2 ??!! #AdhamBabaLetakJawatan,” Twitter user @noodlesofea said. 

Other stories to check out:

Tracking #KlusterMenteri: Here are the Malaysian ministers who had COVID-19

All eyes on Minister Annuar Musa’s fancy watch during speech on poverty

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