Since the government made wearing face masks mandatory in public spaces mandatory beginning 1 August, we have seen plenty of 'controversies':
The government is looking at ways to fix that, starting with lowering the fine amount.
Fine is too heavy
The New Straits Times
reported that the government might reduce the RM1,000 fine slapped on individuals who flout the mandatory public mask-wearing rule after a motion to amend the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342) was accepted by Dewan Rakyat on Monday (17 August).
The motion was submitted by Kelvin Yii (PH-Bandar Kuching) to Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun last Thursday (13 August), and it was tabled in the Lower House on Monday.
According to Yii, the RM1,000 fine is too high and could burden some people, especially students, the elderly and the poor.
"This effort involves the interest of the people and that this mandatory policy is affecting the public regardless of race, religion and socio-economic situation," Yii was quoted as saying.
The report stated that a total of 78 Members of Parliament from both sides of the political divide had also signed a petition to lower the fine amount to RM250.
Yii told the daily that the compound should serve as a lesson, and not a harsh punishment.
Is the fine too much though?
While reducing the fine amount may be good news for some (the student who was recently fined for adjusting his face mask
, for example), some may decide to flout the rule because the reduced fine amount is not 'scary' enough.
Some countries around the world who have also enforced a mandatory face mask-wearing rule are not shy to bring down the hammer
For instance, in Qatar, flouters could face up to three years in jail and fines of as much as USD55,000 (RM230,000).
In Germany, fines of between €25 (RM124) and €10,000 (RM49,780) can be imposed on those who fail to wear a face mask in public places.
What do you guys think? Should the fine amount stay at RM1,000, or should it be reduced to RM250? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.