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YOURSAY | Why we're against the 'ridiculous' Act 342 fines

YOURSAY | 'Many are crying foul over the special treatment given to some people.'

Parliament revises Act 342 amendments, penalties lowered

Watered-down Act 342 amendment still open to abuse, says Harapan

Spiderman: Even watered down, the amendments to the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342) are too draconian, and it is the normal citizen who once again gets the brunt of it.

Partygoers are fined individually for disregarding the standard operating procedures (SOPs), but the organiser of the recent Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob's 100-day report card event only received an RM1,000 fine.

Why were the prime minister, his ministers and those in his entourage not fined RM1,000 each?

Vote4changejohor: Many citizens are crying foul over the special treatment given to some people.

Anyway, how is the person on the street going to pay the RM50,000 penalty? Especially during the current weak economic situation where Malaysia is still facing many challenges to improve the livelihood of many families who have fallen into the B40 (bottom 40 percent) trap.

The penalty has to be more realistic and should be less than the RM50,000 suggested by the Health Ministry. The amount is equivalent to 18-20 months of salary for many and hence, not realistic.

Failure for the individual to pay this RM50,000 will lead to imprisonment, which will cause even more woes to his/her family. The prime minister and ministers should be more sensitive to the plight of the B40 group.

A Little Bit Crazy: I agree. They have been living in the ivory tower for so long that they do not know the hardships of the rakyat.

Stick to the original RM1,000 fine for individuals, but impose an RM10,000 fine for corporations. For "repeated" offenders, or after 30 minutes from the first warning being given, double the fine.

For multiple repeated offenders, impose a fine of a maximum of RM10,000 for individuals (like the case of a white woman trying to enter Dior store in KLCC without wearing a mask), and RM100,000 for corporations and a jail sentence of three months.

Please do not impose fines or jail sentences without warning officials from abusing their powers and to prevent corruption.

The Health Ministry should, by all means, educate people to observe the SOPs, not aim to collect fines to increase the country’s revenue, or intentionally or unintentionally "enrich" the enforcement team members.

Be more civilised when imposing fines. We are living in a modern world now. Gone are the days, when the feudal king could chop the heads of a few hundred poor folks, just because the king had lost some chickens and cows.

Dr Raman Letchumanan: Pakatan Harapan is negotiating the amendment like in a pasar malam. For an RM1,000 product, the seller quotes RM50,000, then Harapan argues for RM20,000 and the seller readily agrees.

Imagine an ordinary person being compounded RM20,000. He cannot pay and will be sent to jail. The whole family is ruined - all for not wearing a face mask.

As I keep saying, Harapan is becoming more ludicrous, day by day. They must be living in the clouds. They have no clue about the sufferings of the ordinary people.

YellowRusa5552: The amendments in whatever form should never be supported at all by the opposition. The revised figures are still harsh to the ordinary people.

This Covid-19 pandemic has already destroyed the lives and livelihood of many people, with many businesses closing and jobs lost.

People are now trying to go back to normalcy and the last thing that they want are "threats" to their hard-earned monies from the reckless enforcement of this amended law.

RedWolf4463: Well, if Harapan can’t see it, let the public tell them in plain simple language. All the hefty fines and penalties can be, and will be, abused.

Hefty penalties open the door to corruption as the enforcement authorities are eagerly waiting with their saliva drooling. Severe punishment will result in your election candidates being disqualified for the flimsiest excuse.

If you still can’t understand this, then you deserve to be voted out.

Demi Rakyat: The RM50,000 penalty and three years’ imprisonment for individuals are still way too high. It should be like RM5,000 and drop the jail sentence.

If Harapan supports this, I can guarantee my family and I will no longer vote for them. It doesn't matter if it’s PKR, Amanah or DAP. We will reject any party that supports the bill. Period.

ManOnTheStreet: What ridiculous and obscene amounts! It's the common folk that will get caught and fined, while those with power and position get away with impunity.

Even when halved, the ordinary person on the street will not be able to pay. This means a jail sentence for him or her.

Look at other laws in this land of ours. None are as draconian and cruel as this. Dangerous driving and reckless speeding, which are far more obvious killers, are not fined such high amounts.

Those who implement laws like these will be cursed by the suffering rakyat. I am disgusted by the Health Ministry for the proposal.

The ministry should be looking after the welfare of its frontliners and patients. We had one of the highest numbers of deaths per million population in Asia.

Build more hospitals to help the sick instead. Punishment is not part of the Hippocratic oath.

All Things Considered: To all those ministers and politicians, let me make the following suggestions:

1. Individuals: RM1,000 fine for the first offence or one week jail. Increase of RM1,000 or two weeks’ jail for each subsequent offence up to a maximum of RM10,000 or three months’ jail.

2. Companies: RM10,000 for the first offence and an additional RM10,000 for each subsequent offence up to a maximum of RM100,000.

This is what a reasonable person or government will do, and not stupidly impose fines that nobody can afford and jail sentences that can ruin a person’s life and his family for good, all because he or she did not wear a mask or did not stand far enough from another person.

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