KOTA KINABALU: Stubborn businesses which continue to break Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and take the Covid-19 outbreak lightly, must be punished more sternly including jail time.
The Sabah Smart Consumers Association called on the government to act more decisively against those who do not comply with the government's instructions.
Its president David Chan said in a statement on Tuesday (July 27) that the Association found that there were still parties ignoring the SOP order, an example of which was an entertainment centre in Kot Kinabalu which was raided for opening its doors to visitors last weekend.
"In such cases, the parties involved clearly took lightly the importance of compliance with SOPs in the government's efforts to control the pandemic.
"In this regard, the government should no longer just impose a compound, but a heavier form of punishment including imprisonment.
"We want those who seem to be challenging the government's authority to be punished because they not only violate the law, but can also cause the Covid-19 pandemic to further spread within the community.
"We do not want the entire business sector, including eateries and hawkers, to be prohibited from operating because of the bad attitude of a few parties,” he stressed.
With daily cases of Covid-19 in Sabah still high and at 720 cases as of yesterday (July 26), with the state capital normally contributing the higher figure, it clearly shows the need for all parties to work together to curb the spread of Covid-19.
“It is disappointing to note that owners of entertainment centres shamelessly open their premises for operation.
"It may be because they have no problem paying whatever compound is issued to them.
"Therefore if the compound is not able to deter them, we would like the government to impose a heavier fine or mete out a more appropriate punishment," he suggested.