Deputy Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Dr Edmund Santhara says his trip to New Zealand was approved by the Prime Minister and he had complied with the required procedures to apply for permission to leave the country.
In a statement today (1 March), he said he had applied for a 55-day leave through the Federal Territories (FT) Minister, to obtain the Prime Minister’s approval via a letter dated 3 Dec 2020. The application was supported by the FT Minister on Dec 10 and approved by the Prime Minister on 18 Dec.
Edmund said his purpose in leaving the country was to visit his family in New Zealand, whom he had not seen for almost a year.
“I was unable to witness my nine-year-old child’s holy communion ceremony… My wife has health problems and I have another child who is pursuing a law degree,” he said.
Edmund mentioned that he remains committed to his duties and noted that he attended all Dewan Rakyat proceedings with a 100% attendance record.
“I have never applied for sick leave or taken a holiday since I was appointed as Deputy Minister on March 10, 2020. This is to ensure I can always provide the best service to the people in dealing with all issues related to the Covid-19 pandemic and throughout the movement control order (MCO),” he said.
Edmund, who issued the statement in response to allegations about his trip to New Zealand, said the allegations were untrue and he left the country before the second MCO was announced in Malaysia.
He also said he would discuss with his lawyers upon returning to Malaysia in relation to the false allegations that he said had tarnished his reputation as a Deputy Minister and MP. He added that a police report would also be lodged against those who made the accusations against him.
Although Edmund has explained his situation, many Malaysians are still pressed over the situation. Take a look: