Stop the poppycock, just annul the nonsensical SOP breach fine for now

A SELANGOR state assemblyman had called on the Government to withdraw and annul all compounds related to contact details and MySejahtera, until the data is used for contact tracing and mass testing.

“Mass testing is still needed as we are still a long way from reaching the required 70% immunisation for herd immunity.

“Therefore, I call upon Senior Minister (Security) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Law Minister Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan to mete out justice when it comes to COVID-19 related offenses.  Enforce for public health, not just to be punitive to the rakyat,” said Rajiv Rishyakaran in a statement.

Initially fixed at RM1,000, the Government decided to hike up the penalty for breaching SOPs to RM10,000 under the Emergency Ordinance (Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases) (Amendment) Ordinance 2021.

Under the legislation, a company can be fined RM50,000 as well for SOP breaches.

However, many have voiced frustration over the massive fine, with reports that several beggars in Sabah were also slapped with the compound for SOP breach.

Rajiv Rishyakaran

Recently, Ismail Sabri provided clarity to the offenses, by dividing them under three categories, with the lowest fine imposed fixed at RM1,500.

However, Rajiv was unimpressed with the reclassification of the offenses, saying the Government did not address several pertinent issues.

“Firstly, explain why increase the fines for Category Three offences ‘that involve low transmission risk of the virus and would not lead to a wide-scale impact to the community’, specifically not wearing masks and failure to record details on MySejahtera or on the log book before entering any premises.

“The category of offence itself indicates that these are minor, almost inconsequential violations and yet the compound for it is higher than our minimum wage of RM1,200.

“This is unjust and unjustified especially when guidelines set for SOPs are vague and constantly changing. In fact, a bipartisan petition has called for fines to be lowered to RM250 for the first offence but this was ignored by the Government,” he stated.

MySejahtera not fully utilised

On mask wearing, the DAP leader said the Government has yet to provide proper guidelines on when and where to wear masks.

Elaborating, Rajiv said the confusion came from Ismail Sabri himself, who had earlier said that face masks should only be worn when one is in crowded places.

“However, a shopkeeper in Johor was fined despite being in her own shop, with no customers present,” he mentioned.

On that note, Rajiv stressed the need for enforcement officers and the public to be given clear and identical guidelines to avoid any confusion and misuse of power, given the fact that not wearing mask is set as a top SOP violation.

“Singapore and Australia have issued a more detailed guideline on when and where masks should be worn, despite not having a fine for that SOP violation,” he remarked.

On the MySejahtera app, Rajiv said the Government has yet to answer on its efficacy in contact tracing and curbing the spread of COVID-19.

He added that people should be alerted or contacted through the app to get tested and quarantined if they have been identified as a close contact or even casual contact, but they are not.

“So, it only makes sense to issue summons if non-compliance affects public health as a whole. In the case of MySejahtera, it doesn’t do that as it is evident that the data collected is not being used as it should be,” Rajiv remarked. – March 21, 2021.



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