Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Govt offers discounts on compounds for SOP offences

Those who settle their compounds within seven days of the date they are issued will be given a 50% discount.

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The Cabinet has agreed to put in place guidelines to determine the amount of compound and applicable discount rate under Act 342, with discounts of 50% and 25% available for those who settle their compounds within a particular time frame.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Takiyuddin Hassan said individuals or companies compounded under Act 342 would automatically be given a 50% discount if the compound is paid within seven days of the date it was issued.

“For example, for not wearing a face mask, the compound imposed is RM1,500 but if it is settled within seven days, you only have to pay RM750,” he said at a joint press conference with Health Minister Dr Adham Baba in Putrajaya today.

“If the compound is paid between the eighth and 14th day, the individual or company is eligible for a 25% discount, but if it is settled after 14 days, no discount will be given,” he added.

He said the government would also take into consideration appeals for a reduction in compound by persons with disabilities, those in the B40 group, students, and the chronically ill.

Individuals in these groups can file an appeal with the health ministry by filling up a form and including supporting documents.

In the peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak, appeals may be submitted to designated ministry officers including the state health director, deputy director (public health), district epidemiologist and at the district health office.

In the Labuan, appeals can be made to designated officers, namely the state health director, deputy director (public health services) and epidemiological officer.

“Only these people have the authority to give consideration to people who have been compounded, based on their appeal and supporting documents,” Takiyuddin said.

He also said those who were issued compounds during the implementation of the Emergency (Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases) (Amendment) Ordinance 2021, effective March 11, are eligible for a discount with today counted as the first day, regardless of when the compound was issued.

Takiyuddin said under the guidelines, offences are categorised as serious, moderate and normal with compound amounts corresponding to the severity of the offence.

A serious offence is one that causes large-scale community transmission and has a high impact on the community; a moderate offence is one that causes high virus transmission but does not have a significant impact on the community; while a normal offence involves low-risk transmission and has no impact on the community.

“An example of a high-risk or Category One offence is when a medical practitioner fails to inform the health ministry of a positive case, as required under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Regulations,” he said.

“If private medical practitioners do not inform the health ministry that Covid-19 positive patients have sought treatment at their clinics, we propose a compound of RM5,000,” he said.

For defying rules related to visits to nightclubs, pubs or restaurants, individuals can be fined RM10,000 while premise owners or operators can be fined up to RM50,000.

Takiyuddin said an example of an offence in the moderate category is when a person enters an area under enhanced movement control order, which could mean a fine of RM3,000.

Those who refuse to comply with instructions given by personnel empowered under Section 15 can be fined RM4,000.

Takiyuddin said offences categorised as normal are when employees, customers or suppliers do not wear a face mask. For this, the compound has been set at RM1,500.

For those who fail to register using the log book or MySejahtera application when entering a premise or who do not observe physical distancing, the compound is RM1,500, he said.

For companies that do not comply with rules on operating hours, the compound is RM10,000.

“The ministry has instructed its officers, and the police too have briefed their personnel, that the compounds are to be issued as a last resort, after advice has been given,” he added.

Takiyuddin said enforcement teams comprising the police, army, People’s Volunteer Corps or Rela and local authority personnel would start to monitor compliance with SOPs by April 1 at the latest.

“The aim is to monitor the SOP implementation among the people and to give them advice before issuing compounds to the defiers,” he said.

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