As we all know by now, the use of face masks has been made mandatory by the federal government as part of The Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988. This new enforcement of face masks, which began on 1st August 2020, would mean that anybody seen wearing their face mask incorrectly or not wearing one at all is liable of being slapped with a hefty RM1,000 fine.
But throughout the duration of its implementation, many have begun questioning whether if the enforcement of the ruling has been carried out fairly after a recent video emerged over social media depicting how a young teenager broke down into tears after he was issued a fine for not wearing his face mask correctly.
Captured on camera by a local Malaysian news program broadcast over TV3, the clip shows police officers filling out the fine before handing it over to the young man at the Rawang KTM station.
Shared by netizen @abamihsan, the video has since caught the attention of local netizens, especially in light of the fact that the teen had been fined for not wearing his mask correctly, and not because he wasn’t wearing one at all. This was corroborated by the program’s reporter in speaking with the him after the fact.
“I had only pulled down my face mask past my nose. I was fined for not wearing it correctly.” he explained to her.
However, many netizens have taken to pointing out what appears to be a double standard regarding Malaysian public figures who managed to escape scot-free for not wearing a mask, despite being caught on camera in packed public spaces. This is bearing in mind the fact that the teenage boy may not necessarily have the financial resources to pay off the RM1,000 compound, if one were to assume that he is still in school.
This is further exacerbated by stories emerging of underprivileged families and individuals who have been driven to drastic measures, such as reusing disposable face masks over the span of multiple days or even rummaging through garbage for used face masks to wear in order to avoid the RM1,000 fine.
With the ceiling prices of face masks now set at RM1.50 per unit before being expected to be reduced to RM1.20 per unit by 15th August 2020, it begs to question whether families who are already facing difficulties in keeping abreast with their other commitments can afford to stockpile face masks at home during this pandemic.
What are your thoughts on this?
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