Deputy FT minister left for New Zealand 83 days ago.
Deputy Federal Territories Minister Edmund Santhara did not seek emergency allocation in New Zealand’s limited Covid-19 quarantine scheme.
This was revealed by New Zealand Minister for Covid-19 Response Chris Hipkins in a written reply to National Party MP Chris Bishop.
Bishop had asked Hipkins if Santhara (above) was granted an emergency allocation and if true, under what category and when was the application filed.
“No. I am advised that Mr Edmund Santhara did not apply for an emergency allocation,” said Hipkins in reply.
New Zealand has a “managed isolation and quarantine” scheme that can accommodate 6,260 people.
Bishop, an opposition lawmaker, had urged the government to clarify whether Santhara was given special treatment since many New Zealanders are finding it difficult to get a quarantine space.
Santhara said that he underwent quarantine in New Zealand on Dec 24 last year. He claimed to have obtained 55 days leave from the government.
It has been 83 days since Dec 24. Santhara’s whereabouts are unknown.
Meanwhile, Bishop has filed several other questions to the New Zealand minister of foreign affairs and the minister of immigration.
Among others, Bishop wanted to know if the Foreign Affairs Ministry received any correspondence from the Malaysian High Commission on Santhara obtaining a space in managed isolation.
Bishop also wanted to know about Santhara’s immigration status in New Zealand.