SMEs: Don’t slap maximum fine on first-time violators


PETALING JAYA: Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are urging the government to impose a warning or smaller fine for first-time violators.

Small and Medium Enterprises Association (Samenta) chairman Datuk William Ng expressed concern about the incidents of SMEs being slapped with the maximum penalty for operating beyond the permitted hours under the movement control order.

“We urge government agencies, including enforcement authorities, to adopt a consultative approach when it comes to infringement of SOP.

“While SMEs should comply with the SOP, there are sometimes issues beyond their control.

“As such, we suggest a stern warning be given if caught infringing the SOP for the first time, or a smaller fine instead of the maximum RM50,000 currently issued, ” he said in a statement on Saturday.

A burger seller in Kota Baru was issued with a RM50,000 compound on April 26 for violating the MCO, including operating beyond 10pm, while a rojak seller in the same state also claimed to have received a similar fine a day later.

It was reported that Kelantan police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Shafien Mamat said the police would offer new compounds to the three stall operators, including the rojak seller, according to the stated guidelines.

Ng encouraged all SMEs to ensure they fully comply with the SOP and to include a buffer time to allow their customers to do so too.

“This would avoid unnecessary confrontation with the authorities and help the country keep Covid-19 numbers under control, ” he said.

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