Press Statement By Michael Kong:
Many are currently earning minimum wage at RM1,200 per month. With that, the current fine of RM1,000 is almost their one month salary. Even for those earning approximately RM2,000 per month employees, that is half month salary. To politicians like Milton Foo, an RM1,000 fine may be affordable but many from the public are not as fortunate as them. As such, naturally, Milton Foo will not understand the plight of the poorer community and the fixed-wage earners.
Just last week in Tenom, 8 villagers, including the driver of a van, were fined RM1,000 when they carpooled to go to the nearest town to pick up essentials and medicine. They are really in a desperate situation that even the police officer took pity of their situation although his hands were tied and had no choice but to issue the compound.
People are already unhappy at the double standard practices by the PN+GPS government. The VIPs never get booked yet the general public are the ones who get punished. Therefore the proposed increase of penalty for repeat offenders will really only affect the public who are from the spectrum of lower-income earners; since the VIPs always get away scot-free.
To add salt to the wound, now we even see the relaxation of quarantine measures by the current PN government for officials returning from overseas. Instead of enforcing a 10 days mandatory quarantine, the PN government has now reduced it to only 3 days. This is too short because the incubation period for Covid-19 is anything from 5-14 days! Even our former Prime Minister, Najib Razak has weighed in on this illogical decision.
The only proper way to curb the spread of Covid-19 is not through an increase in the fines but strict quarantine measures and enforcement and this should start with the VIPs especially our PN+GPS politicians. Set a good example for the public!
Michael Kong Feng Nian
Special Assistant to YB Chong Chieng Jen