Malaysia Bagus News
Malaysia Bagus News
PETALING JAYA: An airline pilot who appealed in vain to be home-quarantined so he could care for his cancer-stricken mother has lashed out at health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
S Mani Vannan, a pilot with Singapore Airlines, said the refusal was devastating considering that he had sought exemption early last month after doing seven Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests and taking his vaccination jabs in the republic.
He said his mother, who was diagnosed with breast cancer, required full-time care as she had to undergo daily chemotherapy and radiation therapy for three weeks.
“I had to step in to care for my mother as my siblings were busy with their families and work,” he said.
He returned to his house in Kulai, Johor, on March 1 after spending seven days at a quarantine hotel in Johor Bahru.
Mani Vannan told reporters he was highlighting his experience with the hope that the government will show more sympathy for Malaysians in similar situations.
He said he was not disputing the law that every person returning from abroad had to undergo quarantine at hotels or isolation centres approved by the ministry.
However, he was upset when deputy federal territories minister Edmund Santhara was recently allowed to undergo home quarantine after a 55-day holiday in New Zealand.
Santhara had made the controversial trip to New Zealand to see his family amid Covid-19 travel restrictions.
The ministry has remained mum over the exemption given to Santhara even as the government has been heavily criticised over double standard treatment for political elites and ordinary Malaysians.
Mani Vannan asked Noor Hisham in an email: “How can we trust you when you risk citizens’ lives by allowing Santhara to do house quarantine? Is he above the law?”
Questioning the unfairness, he said: “You tell me how strict you are and that it is important to observe Covid protocols, but you still practise double standards.
“I had done seven Covid tests before I came to Malaysia from Singapore, got fully vaccinated and I showed you how stringent the health ministry in Singapore was with pilots in terms of quarantine.
“Further, there were no cases of Covid-19 in Singapore when I applied for the exemption for which I produced my test results.”
Mani Vannan was responding to a reply from the ministry’s Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre (CPRC) to his application for home quarantine on Feb 6.
CPRC, in its rejection letter on Feb 22, stated: “The requirement for quarantine is mandatory for all Malaysians and non-citizens returning from abroad even though they bring along the Covid-19 vaccination certificate as the vaccine is still new.
“The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that this vaccine cannot be made as an immunity certificate for quarantine exemption.”
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