This is because the Emergency Ordinance Amendment to Act 342 specifically said that only MOH officers are authorised to issue compound and it must also do so with the written consent from the Public Prosecutor.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Beruas, Dato’ Ngeh Koo Ham yesterday (20 March 2021) lodged a police report at Ayer Tawar Police Station, Perak against the issuing of compound pertaining to Covid-19 SOP breach by police officers and other officials not from the Ministry of Health (MOH). In a statement issued on the same day, Ngeh also iterated that offers to compound under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342) requires the written consent of the Public Prosecutor first.
Previously, the Beruas assemblyman has released a series of statements saying that the police have no authority to compound under Act 342, even after its Emergency Ordinance amendment by the government. This came after police officers nationwide under orders by the government have been issuing compounds of up to RM10,000 under the said Act for breaches of Covid-19 SOPs. Furthermore, other ministry officers have also been issuing the same compounds, including officers from the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MITI) and even local authorities.
In another statement issued by Ngeh on 18 March 2021, he said that under Act 342, only the Director General of Health and his officers authorised by him are authorised to issue compound. Furthermore, Section 25 of Act 342 as amended by the Emergency (Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases)(Amendment) 2021 clearly stated that a compound can only be issued with the consent in writing of the Public Prosecutor.
The Beruas MP stressed,
“I understand that the compounds issued so far are done without the consent of the Public Prosecutor.”
“I call on the de facto Law Minister to declare all summons issued not by the health ministry officials and/or without the consent of the Public Prosecutor as void and are to be withdrawn.”
Ngeh further commented that he is deeply disappointed at the government for not observing and respecting the law, especially since they themselves drafted and approved the Emergency Ordinance amendments to Act 342. Furthermore, the Beruas MP said that his team have received numerous complaints from the public and is alarmed that the police have been issuing compounds ranging from RM1,000 up to RM50,000.
He then asks for this ‘lawlessness’ to be stopped, stressing,
“The lawlessness practised by the backdoor unelected Perikatan Nasional (PN) government must be stopped.… I call on the police to form a task force to study this issue or refer this matter to the Attorney General.”
In the meantime, Ngeh urges the public to cooperate with MOH to combat the spread of Covid-19, including observing all SOPs prescribed by the ministry.
What do you guys think of Dato’ Ngeh Koo Ham’s statement? Does he have a valid point on the illegality of the compounds issued by the police? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!
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