Friday, September 17, 2021

Be humane in enforcing SOPs, PM tells authorities

Muhyiddin Yassin says enforcement authorities must have a sense of discretion so that efforts to educate the public are met with acceptance.

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Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin today urged enforcement agencies to exercise prudence in ensuring that members of the public comply with Covid-19 health SOPs, in the wake of news that a burger seller in Kelantan had been fined RM50,000 for violating the movement control order (MCO).

“I understand the difficulties faced by the people in finding a source of income to ensure their survival in this pandemic situation,” he said in his speech at the launch of the Covid-19 Green Zone Community Competition.

“Some try to run small businesses to cover their expenses, selling burgers, snacks, drinks or the harvest from their crops.

“They are not company owners or large business establishments. They are only licensed to run their own small businesses.”

While a firm hand is needed to ensure that rules are obeyed, he said there must also be discretion and a sense of humanity on the part of the authorities so that efforts to educate the community will be met with greater acceptance.

“This is very important, especially in this pandemic situation which has had a huge impact on people’s lives,” he said.

The burger seller in Kelantan was slapped with the maximum compound on Sunday for breaching the MCO, including by operating his stall beyond the permitted hour of 10pm.

The health ministry said yesterday that it would re-evaluate the man’s case and look into whether to give him a reduction or exemption.

Health Minister Dr Adham Baba also said that the ministry’s purpose in enforcing the law and issuing compounds was to educate and not merely to punish.

“The ministry views this as a special case and it needs to be addressed immediately,” he said in a statement.

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