Ever since a directive was passed by the Attorney General’s Office allowing enforcers of the law to issue compound fines without having to bring violators to the police station, there have been many cases of citizens claiming they were fined for no reason due to the lack of clarification on government SOPs.
In a press conference held by Kepong MP, Lim Lip Eng yesterday (29 October), the minister said that there were as many as 50 complaints made by members of the public over the past two days concerning these claims of unjust law enforcement, as reported by Sin Chew Daily.
These complainants were all fined RM1,000 by the police for one of the following offences:
- Lack of company approval letter
- Lack of registration information
- Failure to wear masks
However, according to the MP, these citizens were all following the relevant SOPs that were put in place. He assured these complainants that he will report these cases to the Bukit Aman Police Headquarters to request that the authorities cancel these unjust fines. The MP also said that authorities should enforce the law and deal with situations like these humanely.
Fined for delivery
One complainant said he was a Newspaper distributor who was fined RM1,000 when delivering newspapers to a coffee shop in Kuala Lumpur. He was fined for not scanning MySejahtera upon entering the premises. However, the man said that it only takes a few minutes to deliver the newspaper and he has to make many deliveries a day. He then asked if the same standard applies to local government officials who inspect eateries and “will they have to scan and register before entering the premises too?”
The man also questioned how the government could allow the minister who violated home quarantine orders in July after travelling to Turkey to be let off so leniently when the same treatment could not be given to him, a newspaper distributor who didn’t scan the MySejahtera code.
Ignored by a policeman
Another case occurred when a 72-year-old man said he was fined at the market for not having proper registration information. “I arrived at the market at around 8:45am and registered with MySejahtera before entering. I went to the food centre for breakfast at around 9am and scanned before going in as well,” said the elderly man in a statement recorded by Sin Chew Daily.
However, he said authorities patrolled the grounds at around 10am and issued a ticket to him as he reportedly had no registration information. The man tried to show the officer his scan record on his phone but the officer refused to pay attention. When he tried to go to the Kepong Police Station to report the matter, he was told to go to the Ministry of Health instead.
Stopped by officers in plainclothes
Unfortunately, he’s not the only one who received unfair treatment from authorities. A man who wishes only to be known as Teoh was fined RM1,000 at Setapak Sentral by a plainclothes police officer and four others who approached him. One of them who claimed to be a policeman issued the fine for wearing his mask below his nose and claimed he had photographic evidence of the incident. When Teoh asked to see the evidence, he was ignored.
Teoh called the police the next day and asked for an officer to accompany him to the mall to review the CCTV footage and justify his innocence. The CCTV records confirmed that he didn’t take off his mask and Teoh subsequently launched police reports about the incident in Setapak and Gombak district police headquarters.
With so many cases like these happening daily and probably more going unreported, there needs to be a way to prevent this abuse of power. What do you guys think of this?
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