Govt to consider tiered fine system

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 18 Aug 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: A tier system of fines for those flouting the mask-wearing rule will be considered by the government following an emergency motion raised in Dewan Rakyat on the issue.

“I have taken note of the proposal and the Health Ministry will bring the matter up during the Special Ministerial meeting tomorrow (today).

“I have discussed with the Health Minister for the proposal to be given further consideration during the meeting,” said Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali in his reply to points raised during debate on the emergency motion in Parliament yesterday.

The emergency motion was moved by Dr Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen (PH-Bandar Kuching), who called for amendments to the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act to lower the current RM1,000 fine for the mandatory face mask ruling, which was implemented on Aug 1.

He also showed a petition which he said was signed by MPs from across the political divide asking for lower fines.

Other groups have also called for the lowering of the fines.

Earlier, in his debate, Dr Yii said there was confusion in the implementation of the ruling and the definition for “crowded public spaces”, citing several cases in which he claimed that members of the public had been “unfairly penalised”.

“There was a case of an old lady who was issued a RM1,000 compound for not wearing a face mask although she was just about to retrieve it from her car before going to a nearby market,” he said.

The high compound, argued Dr Yii, was disproportionate and unfair, especially for students, the disabled as well as those in the B40 group.

He pointed out that fines for not wearing face masks in several countries were less than 10% of the minimum wage while in Malaysia, it was equivalent to 83%.

He suggested that the law be amended to implement a tier system for the fines, starting from RM250 instead of RM1,000 currently.

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Dewan Rakyat , face mask , fine , tier system


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