By Lim Guan Eng
Offenders of Movement Control Order(MCO) restrictions should be permitted to attend an interview and face advocacy action, instead of being issued a compound summons for RM10,000 fines, similar to cases involving motorcyclists with loud exhausts on their vehicles.
This follows a U-turn announced by Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong, that the Road Transport Department (JPJ) will no longer issue summons for up to RM2,000 or imprisonment not exceeding six months, on motorcycle owners who modified their vehicles with loud exhausts.
Under the new U-turn, motorcyclist offenders will be called up for an interview under Notice 114 to attend an interview and face advocacy action with the JPJ, rather than be issued a summons or even have their motorcycles seized.
Following this U-turn, the more than 10,000 summonses previously issued should also be cancelled in the interests of consistency and fair play.
This raises a pertinent question why the government cannot make a similar U-turn on the harsh RM10,000 fines imposed on individuals and RM50,000 fines on companies that breach the MCO restrictions on COVID-19.
Such harsh fines are equally cruel if not more so than those motorcyclists with loud exhausts. Ordinary citizens are not as wealthy as Ministers to afford the RM10,000 fines.
A majority of MPs from both the opposition and government backbenchers, oppose
these new fines imposed under emergency regulations.
The majority of MPs are seeking a restoration of Parliamentary legislative powers and government oversight, so that a parliamentary meeting can be convened to debate and repeal the harsh fines.
Public anger has also mounted against double-standards, where the ordinary public is punished but no action is taken against Ministers like Azmin Ali, Annuar Musa and Zuraida Kamarudin for violating MCO restrictions?
Or Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Khairuddin Aman Razali being compounded with only RM1,000 without being charged court, as compared to a 72-year old Malay lady who was charged in court, fined RM8,000 and a day’s jail for a similar offence. Or Deputy minister Edmund Santhara being allowed home quarantine, denied to ordinary
Following the refusal of the government to comply with the wishes of the King that the Emergency Proclamation does not suspend Parliament, MPs are unable to voice out the people’s grievances and seek immediate redress. In the meantime, DAP has directed that every state set up a legal team to represent in court and assist free of charge those issued the harsh RM10,000 compounds on individuals and RM50,000 for businesses.
Can Wee Ka Siong explain why he did not press the Cabinet to make a similar U-
turn on the harsh fines?