High Compound Too Taxing On People and Health Department

309

Press Statement By Michael Kong:

The latest increase of fines for non-compliance with the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) is not only onerous but also punitive in nature. Only a few days of the law coming into effect, we have read many unfortunate instances of how many people were issued with a compound of RM10,000 for some minor non-compliance of SOP i.e. not wearing face masks while having a meal, not wearing a face mask while having a smoke at the back of a restaurant. These are absurd examples of how the current PN government is trying to penalise the people.

To make matters worse, SUPP’s Milton Foo had the cheek to boast his 17 years of being a lawyer to say that there is an avenue for the people to appeal for a reduction of the compound. Maybe to Milton Foo and other members of SUPP and GPS, this compound and the ordeal is a small issue because such a sum may be peanuts to them. However, for many members of the public, it is a very stressful matter. Anyone who receives a compound of RM10,000 will naturally feel stressed and go through an emotional rollercoaster for days. Even if they appeal, there is no guarantee that it will be reduced to RM50, RM100, or RM300 as alleged by Milton Foo.

The Health Department is already busy enough having to find ways to combat Covid-19 efficiently due to the inefficiency of the PN government. By assigning all appeal of compounds to the Health Department, the PN government is assigning additional duties to the overstretched Health Department. Now instead of purely focusing on the fight against Covid-19, the Health Department has to deal with compounds issued by the police force.

What should be done is to create a fairer policy that does not add stress to the Health Department and the public. A tiered system where repeated offenders get a heftier fine is better than what we have now.

This is the problem of the current state of emergency which is enacted on the pretext of combatting Covid-19. We now see draconian and high-handed policies and laws being forced down the people’s throat.

The PN government should bring back the parliament and allow a proper discussion in the August House to better devise policies that are fairer to the general public.

Michael Kong Feng Nian
Special Assistant to YB Chong Chieng Jen