KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 14 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) has deferred investigation or action on the breach of Covid-19 rules during Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani’s visit to the government’s Keluarga Malaysia event Sunday.
Acryl Sani was seen, in a since-deleted video by national newswire Bernama, visiting a booth while surrounded by crowds of people at the “100-Day Aspirasi Keluarga Malaysia” event at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre yesterday, raising criticisms from the public about the violation of physical distancing standard operating procedures (SOPs).
“We deferred it to PDRM,” MOH told CodeBlue.
Besides MOH, the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) is also authorised to issue compounds over the breach of Covid-19 SOPs.
Acryl Sani’s secretariat chief and PDRM’s public relations officer did not respond to CodeBlue’s requests for comment on whether the police would issue the IGP an RM1,000 compound, the current maximum quantum permitted under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342).
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin previously said in a statement last Friday that MOH would not hesitate to issue another compound to organisers if non-compliance with SOPs was repeated.
MOH had issued an RM1,000 compound on the Shared Prosperity Delivery Unit (Sepadu) under the Prime Minister’s Department as organiser of the “100-Day Aspirasi Keluarga Malaysia” event that saw crowds of visitors in the indoor space.
Chief Secretary to the Government Mohd Zuki Ali reportedly said more than 103,000 people had visited the four-day event held from Friday to Sunday.
MOH’s deferral to PDRM on the IGP’s violation of Covid rules during the event comes even as the government is planning to rush through an amendment Bill of Act 342 in Parliament this Thursday, the last Dewan Rakyat sitting. The Senate will sit last on December 23.
A copy of the Bill is still unavailable on Parliament’s website.
The proposed amendments to Act 342 contain a slew of draconian measures, including raising by 10- and 1,000 fold compounds of offences to RM10,000 for individuals and RM1 million for corporate bodies.
Penalties upon conviction are also revised upwards to no more than seven years’ imprisonment, a maximum RM100,000 fine, or both for individuals, as well as a maximum RM2 million fine for corporate bodies.
The proposed seven-year jail term for conviction of offences under Act 342 is equivalent to the punishment of violent or serious crimes, like voluntarily causing grievous hurt, criminal intimidation with threats to cause death or grievous hurt, kidnapping, abandonment of children aged under 12, theft, attempted robbery, and attempt to commit culpable homicide (if hurt is caused).