After fears of sending Covid-19 into prisons, MCO violators to get RM1,000 fixed fines instead

Danial Dzulkifly
Bukit Aman Internal Security and Public Order Department director Datuk Seri Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani speaks during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur April 8, 2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, April 8 — Movement control order (MCO) violations will invite a fixed RM1,000 fine from now on, Bukit Aman’s Internal Security and Public Order Department (KDNKA) director Datuk Seri Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani said.

Acryl explained that the move was to address concerns that custodial sentences for MCO violations created the risk of exposing the prison population to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

Instead of being arrested and charged under Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988, violators will be taken to police stations or police district headquarters (IPD) and issued compounds.

“They are then given two weeks to settle their compounds, the payments for which must be made at the Ministry of Health’s office,’’ he said.

He explained that the compounds must be paid to the ministry as the Act was under its purview.

Acryl Sani said those who failed or do not wish to pay for the compound could ask for a trial in court.

Last Sunday, the National Security Council has agreed to look into the suggestion by the Prisons Department to not jail violators of the MCO over health concerns, said Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

He said the council had discussed the letter sent by the prison department’s director-general Datuk Seri Zulkifli Omar, in which he said the overcrowded state of Malaysian prisons could be further aggravated.

This comes as earlier in Perak, two labourers who were sentenced to three-month jail after they were caught fishing during the MCO to feed their families, were ordered to perform community service by a High Court there.

They will serve the punishment over a three-month period, but it will be only carried out after the MCO is lifted.