Defence Minister Moots Possibly Raising Jail Term, RM1,000 Fine For MCO Violations

This is despite a 97% compliance rate with the Movement Control Order.

KUALA LUMPUR, April 10 — Ismail Sabri Yaakob today suggested that the RM1,000 fine for lockdown violations may be increased if necessary, citing other countries with fines above RM10,000.

The senior defence minister said 666 people were arrested yesterday for violating the Movement Control Order (MCO), but he also reported a 97 per cent compliance rate.

A total of 392 individuals were slapped with an RM1,000 fine for violating the MCO, while nearly 7,500 people have been arrested for breaching the lockdown from March 18 to April 9.

“Maybe the RM1,000 fine is too low,” Ismail Sabri told a press conference.

He cited Singapore that would impose an SG$10,000 (RM30,488) fine for the first offence of breaking the lockdown and SG$20,000 (RM60,975) for the second offence. South Korea, he said, imposes an RM35,000 compound for the first offence, while Indonesia has an IDR300 million (RM82,370) fine.

“Maybe we’ll ask the Ministry of Health to discuss with the Attorney-General’s Chambers, maybe if needed, to enhance the punishment, raise the compound. A prison sentence may be increased if it needs to be a deterrent to ensure there are no more violations. Maybe the public must be made more afraid so that they won’t violate the MCO.”

Those who violate the MCO are subject to an RM1,000 fine, or imprisonment up to six months, or both.

Authorities recently decided to issue RM1,000 fines to those who violate the MCO and to only charge offenders in court if they do not make payment in two weeks, amid concerns of overcrowding in prisons.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin will announce later today if the MCO will be extended beyond April 14 amid the Covid-19 epidemic that has infected over 4,200 people in Malaysia.

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