Update: The deputy speaker has admitted to attending the recent durian party.
Parliament Deputy Speaker Mohd Rashid Hasnon and several others have been summoned by the police for questioning over a durian party that allegedly took place in Perak recently.
The deputy speaker for the lower house of parliament, or Dewan Rakyat, had appeared in a widely circulated video showing him and a group of people gathering at a durian farm without face masks and social distancing. Despite initially claiming that the gathering took place last year, eagle-eyed netizens who spotted a woman wearing a hijab from a 2021 collection appeared to prove Mohd Rashid otherwise.
After this article was published, Mohd Rashid admitted to reporters that he had indeed attended a recent durian feast and also apologized for his actions, adding that he would cooperate with the police investigating him for alleged breach of COVID-19 protocols.
“It so happened that at that time, there was a working visit by minister Zuraida Kamaruddin to Batu Pahat,” he was quoted as saying.
Batu Pahat police chief Ismail Dollah said yesterday that the police have launched an investigation into the matter after a complaint was filed over the 15-second video that has since been viewed more than a million times.
Seronok nampak MP Batu Pahat merangkap Timbalan Speaker merangkap pengkhianat berkumpul ramai-ramai makan durian? pic.twitter.com/2EiYQD0zSG
— Laga Cawan 🏴 (@LagaCawan) June 29, 2021
“The investigation is being conducted under Regulation 18 (1) Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases 2021,” Ismail said in a statement. He also appealed to the public to refrain from speculating until the investigation was complete.
One of the viewers of the video had pointed out a woman sporting a hijab from the Fareha Raya 21 collection launched just two months ago, while others highlighted that some individuals at the durian feast were wearing the same outfits as they did at a Sunday durian event involving Zuraida.
Rashid, who is also the MP for the Batu Pahat constituency, earlier denied allegations he violated the full movement control order rules against gatherings by attending the durian party, insisting that the viral video was recorded long before Malaysia entered lockdown for the first time in March last year.
Batu Pahat MP insists durian feast wasn’t last Sunday, though those at a separate event w Zuraida that day were pictured at the feast, wearing the same clothes.
Zuraida said she didn’t attend the feast, but was given durian when she left her event. https://t.co/84olucSHGt
— Aidila Razak (@aidilarazak) June 29, 2021