KUALA LUMPUR: Bukit Aman has welcomed the maximum RM10,000 fine for those who violate the movement control order regulations saying that repeat offenders are the ones who should fear the higher penalty.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador said the decision is timely to ensure better compliance of Covid-19 standard operating procedure.
“Repeat offenders are the ones who should fear this.
“The same goes for unrepentant organisers of prohibited social gatherings as well as owners of entertainment premises who brazenly flout the SOP, ” he said yesterday.
Abdul Hamid said police are committed to enforcing the law, especially against SOP violators.
“The time for warnings or advice for SOP flouters is over.
“Stricter enforcement is the way forward in the effort to stop the spread of the virus, ” he said, urging the public to comply with the SOP as the ultimate goal is to curb the chain of infections.
Malaysians Against Rape, Assault and Snatch Theft founder Dave Avran said increasing the fines is necessary as Malaysians are lackadaisical in following SOP.
“However, it is also important to educate Malaysians so they realise that following SOP is as much for their own safety as it is for the safety of their loved ones.
“Observing the SOP also shows care and respect for their community and society. Fighting the pandemic has to be a collective effort, ” he said.
Universiti Sains Malaysia criminologist Assoc Prof Datuk Dr P. Sundramoorthy said a system should be in place so that the punishment fits the crime.
“It must be fair. It cannot be too lenient or severe.
“Since the amount is no more than RM10,000, I think first offenders should not be punished as harshly. However if they are repeat offenders, I think the penalty should increase proportionately, ” he said.
Sundramoorthy added that entities should not be fined the same rate as individuals since companies have a greater responsibility to ensure MCO rules are obeyed.
“From my observation, individual violators will always be there in society but it is very serious when organisations or entities do not take the appropriate measures.
“There shouldn’t be any instances where the punishment for an entity or company is less than that of an individual.
“What that means is that even for first-time offence by entities, the punishment in no way should equate to that of a first-time individual.
“If you are going to fine an entity with the same amount, it totally defeats the purpose of having the difference of the two, ” he said.
According to the e-Federal Gazette, those who breach the MCO regulations may be fined up to RM10,000. Currently, the maximum fine is RM1,000.
The Emergency (Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases) (Amendment) Ordinance 2021, which was published on the Federal Gazette website on Thursday,
states that the fine of up to RM10,000 will come into effect on March 11,2021.