They say even a compound fine of RM500 may be simply unaffordable at the moment for the poor. FMTNews MCO
They say even a compound fine of RM500 may be simply unaffordable at the moment for the poor.
-April 7, 2020 11:50 PMThe government gazetted the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (compounding of offences) (amended) Regulations 2020 on March 27, making offences compoundable.PETALING JAYA: Human rights activists believe poor people will be worse affected if the government decides to punish violators of the movement control order (MCO) with compound fines instead of taking them to court.
Among those concerned by the change is Klang MP Charles Santiago, who said there would be greater implications for the poor.The government recently gazetted a new regulation allowing all offences under the Prevention of Infectious Diseases Act to be compounded instead of offenders being charged in court.
The change came in the wake of protests after citizens were arrested for going jogging, fishing or playing football within a private compound. A conviction in court would leave them with a criminal record.Santiago, who chairs the Dewan Rakyat’s Select Committee on Human Rights and Constitutional Affairs, said there should be a change in approach when dealing with MCO offenders.
“Rich people can pay the compound fines and get away with it. But for the poor – like the men who were caught fishing because they had no food at home – it’s different,” he said.Last Thursday, two men who went fishing in Sungai Siput, Perak, were sentenced to three months’ jail for breaching the stay-home order. They said they had done so only because their families had no food.
Charles SantiagoSantiago also told of how three refugees looking for food for their families were recently arrested and handed three-month jail sentences for violating the MCO, comparing it to the 11 joggers who were caught jogging in the Mont Kiara area last month and paid their fines at the Magistrate’s Court, failing which they would have been jailed for a month.
“The law may look innocent, but the ramifications for the poor are more severe,” he said.Charles Hector, founder of Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture, said that a fine of RM1,000 or less may not be as much of a deterrent compared to community service or prison.
“For the rich, a compound fine of RM500 or RM1,000 is nothing at all, but not so for the poor, many of whom have lost income and jobs,” he said.“Even a compound fine of RM500 may be simply unaffordable at the moment for the poor. They need to think about their families and the bills they have to pay every month, including rental and other hire purchase payments.”
He said many of the country’s poorer citizens have no choice but to buy furniture and household appliances on hire purchase as they do not have much savings, making it harder for them to pay fines.Hector called for normal procedures and criminal justice practices to be set aside in favour of ensuring that people observed the intention of the MCO; that people stay at home to avoid spreading or contracting Covid-19.
“When a person is found to have breached the MCO, the police should just arrest them, get their identity and contact particulars, and release them on the spot with a personal bond,” he said.“After the Covid-19 threat has passed, the police can summon them to the police station for the purpose of investigation and proceed with charging them in court if needed.”
Santiago said that arrests of MCO offenders would place even more stress on lockups and the country’s already overcrowded prisons.There was also a greater risk of Covid-19 being spread among prison officials and inmates.A total of 2,294 people have been charged in court for flouting the MCO as of last Saturday.
At a press conference yesterday, Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said 554 people had been arrested for going against the MCO on Sunday alone, bringing the total number of arrests to 6,048.The movement control order is meant to prevent the spread of Covid-19. It will in force until April 14.
Those who disobey the order can be punished with a fine of up to RM1,000, or a jail term of up to six months, or both.Those authorised to compound the offence are health ministry officers, police officers with a rank of inspector and local council officers.
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Rotan sahaja baru fair mpklang pls grow up Elakkan kena kompaun klu tak mampu nak byar...stayathome ..klu perkara yg memang urgent...polis tak suka2 bgi kompaun la... Jail them What you have to understand is, government gotta take back what they've given. Today they help you the next day they punch you in the fucking face. Nothing is free in this world.
There is flexibility in d MCO, so jz don't break or over-bend it 4 ur own selfish reasons. Jz stay home. more crime. The best is to stay at home, go out only if deem necessary and it also help to reduce the risk of infected by Covid-19. Lock them the fuck up! If they can’t abide by the rules, that’s on them. We shouldn’t even be wasting resources to police this and if we have to, they should have to pay!
Exactly.. everyone fined dont ever pay n let see we have enough jails So follow the rules ! Compound shd be RM1, 500 ! If u cant pay the fine.....stay at home...as simple as that... Why they proudly showing 'compound & compound, no other way to educate errand public. By ethical manner, if you collection compound as incremental.. means.. laws or your enforcement = failure. (Enforcement is not a business as should be increasing everyday).
Being poor does not simply give you the privilege to the mother lode of excuses of being ignorant but an opportunity for some to gain on cheap publicity stunt. Of course it is. To some, RM500 is a month salary. Are u trying to say, well let people go anywhere they like. Thanks Fmt. Bad idea. Is FMT anti of the new government or what? The answer is VERY...VERY...VERY SIMPLEEEEE.... Don't do the crime...if you can't do the time.....!!!! haiya apalaaaa FMT....
Why make a mountain out of a molehill? Issue compounds, Offenders will mitigate and KKM / PDRM will use discretion to impose minimal / maximum compound fines. No remand, no necessity for court appearance.Don't waste everybody's time.Settled and done with. Think out of the box! Yeah they can still pay the fine if they come alive
We can pay the fine if you still alive Activists are a real pain. What world do they live in really? Where prisoners roam free and ppl don't need to abide by the law ... What is wrong w them? They claim to fight for justice but they don't really. I don't know what they are fighting for. Lawlessness?
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