The wife of a burger seller in Kelantan who was recently slapped with a RM50,000 compound for breaching Covid-19 SOPs today spoke up against social media users claiming that their family is rich, in the wake of several photos making the rounds which they say depict her and her husband living a luxurious lifestyle.
One of the photos shows Norlaili Shafii and her husband Wan Mohd Faisal Wan Kadir standing in front of a Honda Civic while another shows Faisal eating at an expensive steak restaurant.
The photos sparked a backlash from internet users, many of whom had criticised the authorities for fining Faisal the maximum amount, calling it excessive.
Norlaili told MalaysiaNow that they had bought the car in 2018, denying claims that they had paid for it in cash.
“If we had known that Covid-19 was going to strike, we would not have bought it. We haven’t even finished paying the interest,” she said.
As for the steak dinner, she said it had been a birthday celebration for a family member, the cost of which was shared.
She said their house was completed just last year, a few months before the first movement control order (MCO) was declared.
“We used our savings of 15 years from selling burgers to build that house,” she added. “Now we don’t have a lot of money to pay the fine.”
She said Faisal had lodged an appeal with the authorities on Tuesday.
“We can pay if it is just RM1,000,” she said. “(But) even if it is reduced to RM10,000, we don’t have the money.”
Faisal was issued the fine for operating his stall beyond the permitted hours.
Norlaili said her husband used to sell burgers from a roadside stall and only began selling burgers from their home after the MCO was put in place.
“We were fined because the police said someone reported us,” she added.
“I replied that there are roadside stalls out there that are still operating after 10pm – why don’t the police compound them as well?
“The police replied that I have to take photos or make a report before they can take action,” she said, adding that it was “unfair”.
Faisal’s compound of RM50,000 has been compared by many with the total fine of RM60,000 imposed on celebrity businesswoman Noor Neelofa Mohd Noor and her family for breaching SOPs at her wedding.
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin recently urged authorities to enforce health SOPs in a humane manner, with other small traders compounded for similar offences as well.