Saturday, January 22, 2022

RM1,000 compound for SOP violations not enough, says Hishammuddin

He says some companies make billions in returns, rendering RM1,000 too small an amount to be effective.

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The RM1,000 fine imposed on those who violate SOPs under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 or Act 342 is ineffective, Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said today.

He said the maximum fine allowed is not proportional to the offences committed by certain organisers or companies in not complying with the required SOPs.

“Personally, I feel with the flexibility given and restriction relaxation that will be announced after this, several companies will be entrusted with the responsibility to ensure that the SOPs set are adhered to.

“In the economic context, the existing fines are ineffective and do not serve as a deterrent because the companies make billions in returns so RM1,000 is too small an amount and is inadequate. As such, we need to table it again in Parliament,” he told a press conference after chairing a Covid-19 Ministerial Quartet meeting in Parliament today.

Hishammuddin also reminded organisers and companies that have been granted permission to hold an event to keep to their word in ensuring that the SOPs are complied with, in efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Deputy Health Minister Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali today tabled a bill to amend Act 342 for the first reading in the Dewan Rakyat, to allow individual offenders to be compounded up to RM10,000 instead of the current RM1,000.

The amendment under Section 25 of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Amendment) Bill 2021 also proposed that errant companies be compounded up to a maximum of RM1 million.

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