KUALA LUMPUR: Individuals running small time businesses such as roadside traders and hawkers will face the maximum compound of RM2,000 if they breach standard operating procedures (SOP), says Datuk Seri Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani.
The Deputy Inspector-General of Police said the Health Ministry issued the new guidelines on Tuesday (April 27).
"I will instruct all state police chiefs to follow this new guidelines to avoid any untoward incident.
"In the past, police personnel are only doing their duty based on existing laws and guidelines. We don't rule out the possibility that some policemen might have misinterpreted the guideline, thus this new directive should make things clearer," he said in an interview at Bukit Aman on Friday (April 30).
He was asked to comment on the controversy involving a burger seller in Kelantan, who was issued with a RM50,000 compound for violating Covid-19 SOP.
Acryl Sani also dismissed the notion of different treatment accorded to public figures, who were SOP offenders.
"On offences that occurred during compliance checks, the authorities were able to issue the compound on the spot.
"However, for cases that have gone viral, the police have to check the authenticity of the photos or videos before taking action as the incident has already occurred.
"We will open an investigation paper (IP) and when it is completed, the IP will be referred to the Attorney General Chambers (AGC).
"The decision to prosecute or not to prosecute the offenders rests on the AGC," he said.
Meanwhile, in an incident where an individual could not visit his ailing father before the latter died as he could not obtain permission to travel interstate, Acryl Sani said action will be taken against the police officer involved.
"We always maintain our professionalism in carrying out our duties.
"I have instructed all state police chiefs and commissioners to be more considerate towards those who apply for interstate travel permits.
“However, the police personnel must be firm in granting permission based on current instructions and guidelines," he said.
On a newscaster who allegedly used crude words on TV against the police, Acryl Sani said police have started investigations under Section 504 of the Penal Code and Section 233 of the Communication and Multimedia Act 1998.
"We hope the public can be more mindful and careful when commenting on any mediums, especially on social media," he added.
He also reminded the people to not spread or make any unverified statement on social media.
"Any grievances should be voiced through the right channels," he said.
Acryl Sani also advised the public to always adhere to the SOP when visiting Ramadan or Aidilfitri bazaars as well as shopping malls.
"We will take stern action against SOP flouters, be it issuing compounds or investigating the offence first.
"We will work closely with local authorities on the matter," he said.