YOURSAY | ‘By increasing the fines, the govt is pushing the blame on the people.’MCO: Stiffer penalties and warrant-less arrests under emergency rulesSuria: Almost a year had passed since the first lockdown on March 18, 2020. Instead of seeing an improvement to the situation, we are constantly taken on a rollercoaster ride of the government’s flip-flopping policies on the standard operating procedures (SOPs), the movement control order (MCO), enhanced MCO, and what have you!Now a year down the road, what we have are stiffer penalties and on-the-spot arrest. Seriously, all these penalties speak of one message, loud and clear to us - instead of doing soul searching on where it has failed, the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government decided to punish the rakyat with heftier fines and even threatening us with jail sentences. Sigh!Apa Nama: While the PN government could not competently control the pandemic as it should, it is sending a strong message with this amendment that it is the public and the companies that are at fault."It is not my fault as I am doing my job. You people do not follow my SOPs, so I need to be stricter now."This is what they are trying to tell us. What an easy way to push the blame to us. Sometimes I wonder, is it that easy to run a country? Simply blame the general public for their shortcomings.Even incompetence and stupidity should have some limit, but here we see them pushing it beyond the limit. I am lost for words.Man On The Street: While the struggling rakyat are severely and more heavily punished, where is the punishment and accountability when government institutions like detention centres, prisons and educational/training centres develop Covid-19 clusters?Why the harsh penalties when the double standards continue? Don't they feel ashamed of going after the ordinary man on the street when those in power are excluded and seemingly immune to punishment?Has the Health Ministry done its best to educate the rakyat? Is this a "copycat" move by the Health Ministry to have similar penalties like Singapore? But Singapore has clear SOPs, and it is consistent with its enforcement.I will remember the injustice when it's time to vote.Flabber Pro: An average Malaysian may not even have RM1,000 in their savings account, let alone pay a RM10,000 fine for the smallest and slightest offence.I would imagine the eight passengers who travelled from Tenom to Kota Kinabalu town to buy essential items would need to work for years and years just to pay the government a fine of RM10,000 each. That comes up to RM80,000.This amount is beyond the reach of ordinary Malaysians who are struggling to survive today. Are these lawmakers aware of what we are going through daily?This will definitely give the police personnel manning roadblocks a gala time to check each passenger/vehicle thoroughly since so much is at stake now. This, too, will give room to possible corruption.Gazza: How can the compound be increased 10 times to RM10,000 and be justified? RM1,000 was bad enough, but RM10,000? What is the country coming to? Is this done to bankrupt the people?And let us be honest, only members of the PN government can escape, and they escape without any explanation. And yet, we are told there are no double standards.Oscar Kilo: RM10,000 fine? Our dear ‘opposition’ politicians, please be careful. Any fine above RM2,000 and you lose your seat, right?Harimau_Arif: Increasing the fine to only punish the ordinary people doesn’t make any sense as we continue to see very important persons (VIPs) flouting the rules, and rules are being changed to suit their needs, such as the so-called three-day quarantine.It has been more than a year of dealing with the pandemic, and there is no end in sight with PN’s flip-flopping SOPs, policy U-turns and half-past-six enforcements.The rakyat has to work to survive, unlike the politicians. The only hope left is the vaccine.Dr Raman Letchumanan: Indeed, what about VIPs who break the law? So now they will be arrested immediately since this is a seizable offence?What about the enforcers who wrongly apply the SOPs, like in the case of mistaken police districts. Shouldn't that be a seizable offence too?Well, I guess double standards will prevail. Let the voters judge in the 15th general election and not complain thereafter.Iphonezours: There is already so much confusion in the implementation of SOPs. Even the police can’t get jurisdiction boundaries correct. They are also fining even young children, etc.All these just show how incompetent this government is in managing the pandemic, and yet they are increasing the fines. People are angry and will vent their anger at the next GE.Just A Malaysian: Increasing fines and adding jail terms for violating MCO is a desperate move.Many are confused over the definition of “districts”, including the police. Shah Alam is listed under both Petaling and Klang. And there are many more confusing definitions and uneven implementation of the MCO.Instead of clarifying and making the SOPs easier to follow, they make it even more costly for those caught violating them. Rakyat already derita (suffer). Please, give us a break.Oscar Kilo: Before you impose such high penalties, make sure the police understand the rules. We know that different officers interpret and enforce the rules differently.2 Cents: While I have no objection to the increased penalty, I'm concerned about the frequent cases of wrongful compounding of alleged offences. rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrCan we also extend the same level of penalty to the enforcement officers who failed in their duties? For example, if the enforcement officer issues a fine but the alleged offender is able to prove that he/she did not breach SOP, then the enforcement officer is liable to pay RM10,000 as a penalty for his/her error in issuing the fine.The above is a selection of comments posted by Malaysiakini subscribers. Only paying subscribers can post comments. In the past one year, Malaysiakinians have posted over 100,000 comments. Join the Malaysiakini community and help set the news agenda. Subscribe now.These comments are compiled to reflect the views of Malaysiakini subscribers on matters of public interest. Malaysiakini does not intend to represent these views as fact.
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