Politics | March 18, 2021 by | 0 Comments
RM10000 Compounds – Here’s Why People Should Not Pay Even The 50% Discount, But Fight All The Way To The Federal Court.
The increase of penalty for any breach of the SOPs (standard operating procedures) under the current lockdown – from RM1,000 to RM10,000 – might be just some loose change to Prime Minister Muhyiddin and his super bloated Cabinet of 72 ministers and deputy ministers. But to the ordinary people on the street who are trying to make ends meet, they simply don’t have the money to pay.
A man of Chinese ethnicity was hit with the RM10,000 compound fines on 12 April, just a day after the unfair, excessive and ill-hatched rule went into effect. The incident at the Bukit Jalil restaurant Motto Kitchen happened not because he was a serial law-breaker who deliberately refused to scan the QR code with the MySejahtera app.
It happened because his phone was not installed with the app, as revealed during an interview with Sin Chew Daily. But he did scan the QR code using another channel, and managed to show proof. Still, the police who issued him the ticket on the grounds that he did not use the MySejahtera app had refused to accept any reasons, but to tell him to appeal to the Health Ministry.
A 17-year-old Form-5 student was compounded for not scanning the MySejahtera app when he visited a grocery store in Melaka to ask for a particular paracetamol for his mother. As he was leaving, plain-clothed policemen issued him the fine on the spot without giving the poor student any chance to explain. The Melaka police chief said the student can appeal to the district health officer.
Zachary Yeoh, a social media influencer, was shocked when an army of 10 officers stormed his dining table and fined him and his friend, Samantha Loh, RM10,000 each. Despite the food and drinks visibly on the table, he was not given any opportunity to clarify, let alone defend himself. They were fined for not wearing masks while eating. Zachary said it was a daylight robbery.
There are hundreds of cases where trigger happy policemen or enforcement officers would shoot first, ask questions later in their hunt for people who flouted the MCO (movement control order) lockdown. In fact, on March 12, Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Abdul Hamid Bador happily revealed that a total 330 individuals have been issued compound notices of RM10,000.
That means on a single day after the law was gazetted on March 11 to raise the compound to RM10,000 from RM1,000, the “caring government” of Muhyiddin had collected a cool RM3.3 million. And if the “easy money” business continues at the same rate, the regime would be able to collect a jaw-dropping RM1.2 billion in 12 months.
Interestingly, IGP Hamid Bador was the same man, who assured on Feb 27 that the hefty RM10,000 compounds were meant for repeat offenders, as well as those who potentially trigger the spread of Covid-19. The clueless police chief said the government’s decision was not for all offences related to violations of the standard operating procedures (SOPs).
But obviously, all the poor souls who were slapped with the RM10,000 compounds above did not commit serious offences, let alone a repeat offender. If failures to scan MySejahtera QR code or not wearing masks while eating is considered serious offences, perhaps the genius Royal Malaysia Police could provide examples of non-serious offences qualified for lower compounds.
Heck, exactly how do the authorities know a person is a repeat offender in the first place before issuing him / her with the maximum RM10,000 compound fines? The country’s police chief said the final amount to be paid will be determined by the Health Ministry’s district health officers, and not the police. Was there any integrated system to check for past offence to begin with?
Besides, what is there to stop the health ministry officers from soliciting bribes in exchange for lower compounds? But the hilarious part is, IGP Hamid Bador, de-facto Law Minister Takiyuddin Hassan and Senior Minister Ismail Sabri appeared to be clueless when they said violators of Covid-19 SOP can appeal for a lower fine.
As it turned out, State Health Departments said they were not authorised to handle appeals or reduce the fine. Yes, health authorities in different states said their respective office could not process any appeal. It’s not even sure if the Health director-general’s office could handle appeals. What this means is despite all the chest-thumping, the system is not in place to process appeals.PROMOTED CONTENT
After creating confusion and anger, the incompetent de-facto Law Minister Takiyuddin and Health Minister Dr Adham Baba held a joint press conference today (17 March). Now they said offenders will get a 50% discount if they pay their compounds within the first 7 days of receiving the fine. Those who settle their compounds within 14 days will get a 25% discount.In what appears to be a damage control over increasing dissatisfaction – or even uprising – of the unfair and ridiculous rules, the backdoor government has made a U-turn. The ministers have also announced that the failure to wear a face mask or practice physical distancing will now subject to a fine of only RM1,500 instead of the insane maximum RM10,000.
Apparently, after a week of running like a headless chicken, the government has decided to classify the severity of violations into 3 categories. While entering a pub or nightclub, or an eatery within a pub or nightclub will end up with RM10,000 compounds, failure to record details on MySejahtera app or on the log book before entering premises can be slapped with only RM1,500 fines.
The best part is, Ministers Takiyuddin Hassan and Adham Baba said a detailed list of offences and their associated fines will be made available on the National Security Council and health ministry websites soon – proof that the RM10,000 compounds gazetted on March 11 was done prematurely and recklessly. The admission also suggests the SOPs were a huge mistake.
But why should you rush to pay 50% of RM10,000 as being offered today, when the new flip-flop and contradictory rules also say minor offences like not wearing a mask, failure to scan MySejahtera QR code or practice physical distancing is liable to only RM1,500 compounds. It’s time to retaliate and make a big issue out of this, especially with the election around the corner – fight your case in the court.
That’s right, the people should take a page out of Najib Razak’s playbook. People who have been bullied, intimidated and discriminated by the incompetent backdoor Muhyiddin regime should play the long game like crooked Najib, whose lengthy court trials allow him to walk like a free man till today, despite having been sentenced to 12 years jail and fined RM210 million.
The main reason people had no choice but to pay was due to lack of money to engage lawyers to fight the powerful government. But now oppositions DAP and PKR, and even ruling parties MCA and UMNO, are offering legal assistance to those who have been issued the RM10,000 fine under Section 25 of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act (Act 342).
In an obvious admission of guilt, de-facto Law Minister Takiyuddin said today those who have been fined RM10,000 should not seek legal assistance after introducing “early bird discounts” and changes to the guidelines. Therefore, those who have been unfairly punished should not pay a single penny, let alone 50% of RM10,000 compounds.
Now the legal fees are practically free, people should fight for justice against the evil government until the Federal Court, the highest court and the final appellate court in the country. This is what the rich, powerful and corrupt crooks like former Prime Minister Najib Razak is leveraging to keep himself out of jail for as long as possible.
The strategy is to prolong and drag the case, betting that a change of government in the next 15th General Election could see those RM10,000 compounds being thrown away. The fact that Mr Takiyuddin was terrified of trials suggests that the half-baked SOP was carried out with bad faith. Even if you lose in the Federal Court, the worst case scenario is to pay the amount of fines, which you would have to pay now anyway.
The government wanted the people to be grateful with the 50% discount scheme – after screwing the people. It is a gimmick to hoodwink gullible people to quickly pay. However, once you paid the RM5,000, which you should not in the first place, it would tantamount to an admission of guilt. The only way out is for the incompetent government to cancel or nullify all the RM10,000 compounds issued.
IGP Hamid Bador should stop insulting the people’s intelligence. The whole idea to increase the fine is meant to severely punish the people or enable the government to collect funds from offenders, and not to remind people about the Covid-19 pandemic as claimed. The arrogant and clueless government has clearly lost touch with the reality on the ground.