RM1,000 compound might be too low for MCO offenders, says senior minister

John Bunyan
Policemen and Army personnel join forces to man the roadblocks at the entrance and exits to Balik Pulau at Jalan Tun Sardon in Penang April 10, 2020. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

KUALA LUMPUR, April 10 — Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob today said that the RM1,000 compound rate for defiers of the movement control order (MCO) might be too low.

He said that the Health Ministry could discuss with the Attorney-General if there is a need to increase the compound and also add the jail term for the said offence.

“I’m not sure, but maybe the compound RM1,000 is too low,” he said in a press conference this afternoon. 

“If we take other countries, for examples Singapore, starting from April 17 the punishment for the first offence is S$10,000 and for the second offence, it’s S$20,000.

“In South Korea, the first offence is RM32,000 and in Indonesia, if not mistaken, it is three million Indonesian Rupiah. The punishment is big in other countries, where the compound is more than RM10,000, but in Malaysia it’s only RM1,000,” he added.

Ismail Sabri said that increasing the punishment can be a deterrent and create fear among the public so that they will not defy the order.

As of yesterday, Ismail Sabri said that police have arrested 666 individuals for defying the order.

“Out of that amount, 392 offenders were issued a compound of RM1,000 and 263 had been remanded and 11 individuals were bailed,” he said.

Yesterday, Ismail Sabri said that police have already enforced RM1,000 fixed compounds. The fine can be paid at all neighbouring district health offices and police stations, with a two-week grace period for the payment to be made.

He said that those who fail to pay up will be brought to court.

Separately, when asked whether parents can bring their children, who are stranded at university campuses and education institutions, back home, Ismail Sabri said the current standard operating procedure remains the same for now.

“Students still need to remain at their places for now. As usual the government will supply food,” he said.  

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