Two Malaysian officials were subject to a maximum fine of RM1,000 (S$325.17) for violating the country’s movement control order (MCO) two weeks ago.
Bernama reported that Deputy Health Minister Noor Azmi Ghazali and Perak state exco Razman Zakaria were present at the Magistrates’ Court in the town of Gerik this morning (28 April). Gerik is located in the north of the Perak state.
Both Dr Noor Azmi and Mr Razman — who were among 15 people charged for the same offence — plead guilty and were sentenced to the fine, with a one-month jail term in default, Malaysiakini reported.
Those found violating the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures within Infected Local Areas) Regulations may face a maximum fine of RM1,000, a jail term of up to six months, or both.
Dr Noor Azmi and Mr Razman’s sentencing followed a controversy involving a photograph depicting them and several other individuals having a meal at an Islamic religious school in the Perak town of Lenggong, which went viral on social media.
The photograph drew the ire of Malaysians due to what was perceived as a flagrant breach of safe distancing measures under the MCO.
Amar Singh, a senior consultant paediatrician, said that the sentencing imposed upon Dr Noor Azmi and Mr Razman is unacceptable, given how there are many others who were subject to harsher penalties for the same offence.
“A slap in the face of all the others who were arrested, handcuffed and jailed for violating MCO.
“Not justice but a sham,” wrote Dr Amar.
A slap in the face of all the others who were arrested, handcuffed and jailed for violating MCO.
Not justice but a sham.
Malaysian deputy health minister, Perak executive councillor fined RM1,000 for violating movement control order https://t.co/2SWl2cuekW
— Amar-Singh HSS (@DrAmarMOH) April 28, 2020
A total of 21,106 people have been arrested for defying the MCO to date, said Senior Minister of Defence and Security Ismail Sabri Yaakob in a press conference today.
One of them is B. Lisa Christina, a single mother of one, who plead guilty to the charge imposed against her and is currently serving her jail term.
She is currently seeking to apply for a revision of her 30-day jail term and will be represented by lawyer Rajpal Singh.
Ms Lisa’s revision application is scheduled to be heard before a High Court judge in the city of Shah Alam tomorrow.
Separately, Liew Chin Tong — a senator and the Democratic Action Party’s Political Education Director — questioned the authorities’ decision to impose fines on those who are in need and do not deliberately flout the MCO regulations.
“While the Deputy Health Minister is seen flouting MCO directions, it was reported that ordinary Malaysians are being fined for waiting to receive his food,” he wrote.
It’s a matter of life vs livelihood. While the Deputy Health Minister is seen flouting MCO directions, it was reported that ordinary Malaysians are being fined for waiting to receive his food. One can only ask why this old man also didn’t receive aid from the Welfare Department. pic.twitter.com/IjOYhid1GA
— Liew Chin Tong (@LiewChinTong) April 18, 2020
“One can only ask why this old man also didn’t receive aid from the Welfare Department,” said the former deputy Defence Minister.
Meanwhile, Terengganu police confirmed that state Menteri Besar Ahmad Samsuri and 14 others will not be charged with breaching the MCO.
State police chief Roslee Chik added that the action was taken after the Attorney-General’s Chambers had instructed no further action into the case.
“We completed the investigations and forwarded the investigation papers to them (AGC).
“So they already made the decision they are not charging anybody and they already (instructed) NFA for the case,” Mr Roslee told Malay Mail.
He did not disclose if there were any reasons behind the decision, Malay Mail noted.
Dr Ahmad Samsuri and Terengganu Umno Liaison Committee chairman Ahmad Said were reportedly gathering at the latter’s home with several other volunteers on 17 April.
Mr Ahmad said Dr Ahmad Samsuri visited him at his residence to discuss several matters on aid distribution, while the volunteers were there to arrange items to be handed out.
On another occasion, Klang Member of Parliament Charles Santiago is currently being investigated over a report accusing him of breaching the MCO.
North Klang district police chief Nurulhuda Mohd Salleh had reportedly sent a letter yesterday informing Mr Santiago to present himself at the police station at 11am today, said lawyer V Vemal Arasan.
The report, according to the lawyer, entailed Santiago’s distribution of food supplies to residents at a public hall in Taman Klang Utama in his constituency two days ago.
“We will get other details from the investigating officer,” said Mr Vemal Arasan.