Enforcement Officers Urged To Treat Everyone Equally


Press Statement By Abdul Aziz:

This morning, I was on the ground to meet-and-greet the members of the public and business owners at 4 1/2th Mile (DUN Batu Kitang).

We received complaints from the business owners that their shops were issued compound by the enforcement officers for RM1,000 each. The reason for the enforcement officers for doing so was because the customers failed to write down their full name on the book log. Now let me give these two points.

Firstly, due to the implementation of Movement Control Order (“MCO”), the vast majority of the business owners throughout the state, particularly in Kuching, suffered 50 percent drops in their businesses. This is because many people are afraid to go out with the spike of Covid-19 cases in Kuching. This is further affected by the Standard Operating Procedure (“SOP”) guidelines which only limits two persons for each table which causes the declining numbers of customers.

Secondly, since many business owners have lost roughly half of their revenue during the Covid-19 pandemic, the number of employees have been cut and their pay has been slashed. In view of the fact that the business owners are currently unable to employ more staffs in this time of Covid-19 pandemic, this had caused many shops and premises running out of manpower. The remaining staffs that are currently under employment are only available to take orders from the customers and therefore, no one is available to monitor the book log.

Taking these two points into consideration, is it fair for the enforcement officers to ambush their shops and premises and issue compound just because the customers did not write down their full name on the book log? Did the enforcement officers take into account of the business drops which caused the business owners to slash down the number of employees? Instead of issuing compound, why can’t the enforcement officers issue a warning instead?

There are many shops and premises where the customers do not write down their full name on the book log. However, it seems like the enforcement officers simply issued the compound to certain shops and premises at their own whims. Why is there a selective measure in issuing compounds? Why did the other shops and premises only receive warnings while others receive compounds? Where is the fairness here? If these particular shops or premises only received warnings for failure to ensure the customers to write down their full name, shouldn’t other shops or premises be treated the same?

I would like to urge the enforcement officers to treat everyone equally. This double standard and punishing offenders arbitrarily at their own whims should be stopped once and for all. As Lord Justice Hewart once said in R v Sussex Justices, ex parte McCarthy, “Not only must Justice be done; it must also be seen to be done”