Putrajaya today hinted at heavier punishments through the use of emergency powers for offences related to health SOPs, saying the Attorney-General’s Chambers is studying the proposal.
Senior Minister for Security Ismail Sabri Yaakob said this could mean a manifold increase in compounds.
“Compounds on companies could be increased from RM1,000 to even RM100,000,” he said.
He said once the AG gives the green light, the higher compounds would take effect immediately.
The state of emergency declared last week gives authorities the power to come up with new laws to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ismail said the current laws to punish those breaching SOPs were too mild.
“We find that one of the reasons for the failure to comply is due to the low fines.”
He cited as example the RM1,000 compound under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act for those breaching SOPs including businesses operating beyond permitted hours during the MCO.
“Many regard RM1,000 as too low for companies and businesses.
“We gave a RM1,000 compound to a company for breaching SOPs which resulted in its workers testing positive for the virus. People then expressed anger because the compound was too low. But this was something unavoidable as it was based on the law.
“But under the emergency, we could raise the compound,” he said.