M’sia PM allegedly mingled with ex-ministers who hung out with confirmed Covid-19 patient – – News from Singapore, Asia and around the world

Malaysia media are reporting that newly appointed prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin had allegedly come into close contact with an unnamed former minister who had mingled with a person who went on to test positive as a confirmed Covid-19 case.

This unnamed former minister was also in contact with other close allies of his and Muhyiddin’s circle over the past three days of political wrangling.

PM Muhyiddin was in contact with the unnamed former minister as recent as Thursday, Feb. 27.

Another former deputy minister from the Amanah political party has already reported himself and voluntarily admitted into self-isolation within his own home as a precautionary measure.

What happened

This deputy minister accompanied the unnamed minister to an event where both of them are said to have met the confirmed Covid-19 case, who is a Khazanah employee.

Khazanah is the sovereign wealth fund of Malaysia.

It has confirmed that the employee has tested positive for the disease and is currently being treated in isolation in Sungai Buloh Hospital.

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Malaysiakini and Sarawak Report have refused to name the former minister though.

But Malaysiakini went as far as report that based on photographic evidence of the event on Feb. 27, the Khazanah employee was seen standing a few feet away from the former minister and former deputy minister.

The employee was reported to be a senior member of the Khazanah leadership and the head of a government-linked company.

The event they were all at was an appreciation event as they were leaving the ministry following the dissolution of the Pakatan Harapan government.

Sources told Malaysiakini the Khazanah employee is Case 26 in Malaysia.

This patient, based on records, had travelled to Shanghai in the middle of January and developed a fever and sore throat on Feb. 27, the same day of the event, and was tested positive for Covid-19 on Feb. 29.

Implications

The implications of this news is potentially huge for the government, as all eyes will be on their response and how transparent they can be with their information release.

One recommended step in the name of public health interest would be for PM Muhyiddin to report for self-isolation, Sarawak Report said.

All his close colleagues and political allies who mingled closely with the unnamed minister during a series of closed meetings and open celebrations on numerous occasions since Thursday, Feb. 27 might also have to step forward for self-isolation measures.

One of these more prominent individuals include Azmin Ali, who broke off from the PH coalition to join the new coalition.

PAS leader Abdul Hadi Awang might also be affected.

The health of PM Muhyiddin and Hadi will be further scrutinised as they have known pre-existing health conditions, and will be potentially more exposed to the downsides of any Covid-19 infection.

However, if they were all to admit their fraternisation with one another, the Malaysia king, who swore Muhyiddin into office on Sunday morning March 1 in the presence of a bevvy of these potential coronavirus carriers, would also have to be self-isolated.

For the whole of government to be self-isolated during the infancy of a new regime without business continuity plans would then be problematic, to say the least.

You can read the full Malaysiakini and Sarawak Report articles postulating the extent of the health risks or inconveniences the new government members are potentially facing.

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