LETTER | High season of fines, consequences, confusion and enforcement blunders

JD Lovrenciear

Modified 22 Mar 2021, 11:02 pm

LETTER | Malaysians (including migrant workers), business communities and everyone else in the country are increasingly feeling that they are being pushed to the edge.

I appeal to Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, in response to the chocking, countless sharing in social media and the numerous netizens voicing their frustrations, and pray you will immediately address the serious concerns and effects relating to the high fines, consequences of these crackdowns, widespread public confusion owing to lack of clarity and the unclear enforcement blitzes underway.

The situation on the ground certainly gravitates with grave concerns as many are suspecting or feeling that their human rights are being trampled upon.

While the punitive policies and laws are being enforced under the cover of a darurat (emergency) and in the absence of parliamentary sittings, people are even suspecting that the Federal Constitution is being compromised.

Fear is sweeping across the nation, affecting a wide and growing segment of society.

Motorcyclists are confused over the authorities’ demands to suddenly comply with an avalanche of road transport requirements or face fines, confiscation of motor vehicles or go to prison.

Businesses are buckling under the lack of clarity in the enforcement of laws that also levy unprecedented sums of compounds and the inherent risk of being labelled a criminal.

The rationale behind the quantum of fines imposed; the prevalent ‘subject to discretion’ orders; the seeming assurance that those compounded may appeal – all of these have only created more confusion, planting growing fears among the communities across all races and status.

It has been over 12 months now and the hardships being shouldered by everyone is unprecedented and the anguish of what else the future holds is already punishing Malaysians severely.

We do not even have statistics to tell us the definite fallout arising from the psychological and emotional duress that everyone is putting up with.

Yet, despite all the oppressive circumstances, we have been largely law-abiding and willing to cooperate with your leadership, even though none of us elected you to the office through a democratic process.

Now, with all these out of the blue, raining compounds and what seems like an avalanche of fines and confiscation of motor vehicles; sealing or issuance of forced stop orders on business premises; hunting down the streets and alleys, public places and eateries looking for people who may have just removed their masks and slapping them with RM10,000 fines are creating immense fears.

Even though your appointed minister gives pressers stating that the public can appeal and the officer may consider the merits of each case, tell us honestly, is this the law of the jungle or one that is in harmony with our long and established judicial structure in our nation?

And please, consider how many ordinary Malaysians are conversant with the law and would be able to seek legal redress.

Business leaders and businesspersons have cried out to you on numerous occasions as we read in the pages of the several government-approved media. Surely the feedbacks do not need months to see corrective, healing action.

The recent crackdown nationwide on motorcyclists has already generated a wide movement among our young Malay boys and girls who use their machines to earn the desperately needed money to stay alive. They are discussing their agonies every moment, day and night. Surely your officers are in the know by tagging social media.

People are now asking all the right questions and anyone will be able to tell you that the cabinet will be broke for acceptable answers in no time.

I am also certain that news of the plight of the people has reached your ears as you often claimed that you have our welfare at heart and your ears to the ground.

Please, go easy on us Malaysians in this climate of fears, pains, confusion and lack of clarity.

And thanks to our media that have brought all these cries of the people to the fore with that same hope that you will heal the nation.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.