‘#PoliticiansPuncaVirus’ trends online as Malaysians blame ministers over COVID-resurgence


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Malaysian politicians are feeling the heat from citizens as a new wave of infections surfaced across the country following Sabah’s pandemic elections.
More than 12,000 tweets were posted in the past 24 hours, trending the hashtag #PoliticiansPuncaVirus, or politicians are the source of the virus, days after the Sabah state elections concluded Sunday. Four districts were subsequently locked down as new infections began to spread to other parts of Malaysia including Selangor.
Twitter user @Ulyahusamudin was among the first few to call out Malaysia’s politicians such as Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, Minister of Federal Territories Annuar Musa, Deputy Education Minister Yadzi Jidin, and Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation Khairy Jamaluddin, for not isolating themselves after returning from Sabah.
Citing photos of the prime minister’s whereabouts on social media, the tweet highlighted Muhyiddin being in Sabah and attending several public events.
“According to his official page, the PM was in Sabah 6 days ago,” the tweet said yesterday. “Look at the crowd. The following days he was in at least 3 events with the public, including today at an event where Anuar Musa also attended. Reminding you Annuar Musa was also in Sabah recently.”
Separately, five cabinet ministers, including one that came into contact with a patient, were this week ordered to quarantine at home for two weeks after returning from Sabah. Foreign Affairs Minister Hishammuddin Hussein reportedly came into contact with election candidate Sufian Abdul Karim, who was confirmed to be infected Saturday. Two test results for Hishammuddin came out negative, the minister said, but he still has to complete quarantine, which began on Monday.
Other citizens are also asking that the Health Ministry dub the new wave of infections the “Ministers Cluster.”
“Now please name it as #KlusterAhliPolitik & #KlusterMenteri cuz every citizen know y’all the troublemaker (sic),” @AdDien90 tweeted to the ministry.
The Health Ministry announced 260 new COVID-19 cases yesterday, which it said was the second-highest daily increase on record since June 4, when 277 new infections were detected. Sabah has recorded 1,995 new cases since election campaigning began Sept. 12.
Yesterday, about 600 Kedah primary school students and staff were sent for COVID-19 testing after a teacher identified as the wife of a local politician who had campaigned in Sabah, tested positive. The SK Permatang Janggus primary school will be closed for eight days starting yesterday.
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