YOURSAY | ‘The entire process is open to abuse and accusation of double standards.’
ManOnTheStreet: Is this how the law is supposed to work? If I get caught breaking the speed limit, irrespective of who I am, there is a compound to be paid from RM100 to RM300.
But for breaking the Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs), the RM10,000 fine will be "adjusted" across a range, from "zero" (perhaps exempted) to the full amount of RM10,000?
How indeed will the health officer decide when it is left to his or her “discretion”? Can such vague instructions result in an implementation that is consistent and just to all those punished? Will the poor farmer with eight children in rural Ranau (Sabah) be treated equally to the poor fisherman with 12 children in Terengganu?
What of the middle-class senior citizens/elderly folk who, due to their age, forget to scan when they enter a shop? They scan 99 percent of the time but may unintentionally forget to do so due to their age? Will they be treated with compassion? Or because they belong to the "middle class", they will have to bear the full brunt of the RM10,000 fine? This could be two to three months (or more) of their pension.
Or what about the mother struggling with three children at the supermarket forgetting to put on a mask? Or the teenager playing badminton in the neighbourhood park momentarily forgetting to keep to social distancing (I see in photos of many politicians forgetting to do so)?
Or the hawker sitting in the hot sun selling his goods all day, momentarily pulling his mask down to scratch his nose? Do they all get some compassion from the severe RM10,000 fine?
Where is justice? RM10,000 is just too hefty a fine to be imposed on the ordinary person on the street.
BoobyO: The problem with the SOPs and the punishment or compound fines set by this government is that they are not thoroughly thought out or studied.
You, Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, must set in place a uniform set of fines to be paid for each particular offence and not leave it to the authorities’ discretion.
All Malaysians must be treated equally under the law. There cannot be a division created between the rich and poor.
And by allowing the fines to be reduced according to the discretion of the health officer, you are allowing the possibility of corruption.
At the same time, have sympathy for the people as they are already suffering financially. Let the amounts to be charged be logical, especially concerning not wearing a mask, not keeping social distance, not registering their names and other minor offences.
Ismail, you seem to have forgotten that this situation on the spread of Covid-19 was due to you and your political colleagues needing to greedily grab Sabah.
Now the people are paying the price for your negligence. By right, all these summonses should be sent to the Perikatan Nasional (PN) administration.
As elections are due, we hope that the people wise up to what is happening around them and the way they are treated by this government. Due to their own greed and negligence, the people are made to pay hefty fines.
Cyclonus: This RM10,000 fine is definitely subject to abuse - from the police issuing summons down to the district health officer. And I'm sure the district health officer has many other things to do rather than hear appeals from many people daily.
This minister definitely hasn't thought this out. So now that there’s a fallout from the public (especially with the double standards between the lords and the common folk), he can't change this law without losing face.
I am appalled at the mentality of this minister and this government for allowing this situation to happen. This is a good reason why parliament should be allowed to sit - to avoid cruel and unjust laws being passed and to avoid a situation where tyranny is allowed to rule.
BlackJaguar6029: Is the RM10,000 fine reasonable, fair and moral? If it is not, then it is wrong no matter how one tries to defend its imposition on the suffering rakyat.
How can anyone, be they politicians, enforcement officers or health officers, act as “judge” to reduce (or maintain) the fine amount without access to objective/fair hearing?
On what basis will these people evaluate and decide on the final/adjusted amount? Is it based on their own subjective experience, religious beliefs, personal preference and mood?
How sure are we that those drafting the criteria are competent, fair-minded and qualified? Why not list down who they are and justify their qualifications for this task?
Biasabisa: To begin with, wearing a mask is not what the ordinary homo sapiens are accustomed to. Therefore, to err and to forget to wear one is to be expected.
Singapore, with per capita gross domestic product three times of Malaysia, penalises first-time offenders with a fine of just under RM1,000, and sensibly three times more for repeat offenders.
What are we trying to show with the RM10,000 fine?
We are still a poor third world nation and not anywhere near the first world. And it is senseless to send a person to jail because he or she can’t afford the fine.
YellowCarp6706: Indeed, what type of message is being sent to the rakyat? Because you seem to be poor, you get a lesser fine but otherwise, it is RM10,000. Will the virus look for poor or semi-poor people to infect?
I just can’t understand the working of this government. Come up with better strategies. The rakyat can tell you where to nab more offenders, don't choose and pick. Just come up with proper strategies.
Oct: It looks silly for the government to implement a law without careful thoughts behind it.
It’s also laughable that with so many smart professionals, the government cannot do things right the first time. This is definitely a waste of resources and time for the rakyat when there are no proper recourse or guidelines.
This case really shows the stupidity of those who went ahead to implement the law. There is no common sense. The rakyat have to pay for all this stupidity as they are the victims, not the very, very important persons.
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