Confused About The Ever-Changing SOPs? You're Not Alone; About 100,000 Cops Are Equally Confused Too!

It's hard to keep up.

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Confused About The Ever-Changing SOPs? You're Not Alone; About 100,000 Cops Are Equally Confused Too!
The Star Online/Aihan Ghani

Sama-sama blur.

We know how hard it is to keep up with the ever-changing standard operating procedures (SOPs).

One minute, the authorities say no to one thing, and the next, the no becomes a yes and then it becomes maybe can.

If you think you're having a hard time with the SOPs, you're not the only one: even our abang-abang polis are confused.

Trying their best

An official from the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) has admitted that the evolving SOPs from the many movement control orders have left even the enforcers confused, Malay Mail reported.

Bukit Aman Department of Internal Security and Public Order (JKDNKA) director Datuk Seri Abd Rahim Jaafar told Malay daily Mingguan Malaysia that about 100,000 police personnel and enforcers from other agencies have different interpretations of the SOPs.

As a result of the confusion, a lot of Malaysians who have been left dissatisfied after being issued with fines for seemingly petty offences.

'Hello, do you know the SOPs? Because I don't know also'
“We can’t deny that when everyone has a different understanding of the law, there are bound to be issues. We are in the process of educating our officers regarding the SOPs during this MCO," he was quoted as saying.

Abd Rahim assured Malaysians that despite the initial confusion, the authorities are now more aware of the basic SOPs, and that has reportedly led to a reduction in questionable compound notices.

“However, the law that states you should not go out unless you have a valid reason still stands. Therefore, maybe the officer who issues the compound feels that, by law, he is right to issue a compound. 

“Hence in the future before any enforcement authority goes out to work we will brief and debrief them and upon return from duty we will check the compound they issued and validate if it was indeed a violation of an SOP,” he was further quoted as saying.

What to do in case you're unfairly fined

If you feel that you've been wrongly and unfairly summoned, there's actually something you can do.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador said that those who felt that they had been unfairly summoned for violating the SOP could appeal to the federal police headquarters.

"Anyone who is dissatisfied for being issued a compound fine can refer to the police (headquarters) so that action can be taken to establish the truth," he was quoted by The Sun as saying.

Make sure to follow the steps below.
While an appeal doesn't guarantee a cancellation of your summon, the authorities have proven that they are willing to cancel or change the punishment should they determine that a mistake was made.

Here are some of the things you need to do if you receive a summon that you feel is unfair:

#1 Take note of all the details

Note down the exact time and date the summon was issued to you. Although not really necessary, you could also take note of the police officer's ID number and his name as additional information. Do note that it is within your rights to ask a police officer to identify himself.

#2 Take a picture as proof

If a police officer gave you a summon for not having proper documentation, take a picture of the summon as well as your official letter. Do make sure that the date on your summon and details of your letter are clearly visible. This picture proof would help your case when you make an appeal at the police headquarters. Having said that, although there are no laws that stipulate that you can't record a video of a police officer doing his duty, do avoid taking photos or videos of the abang polis because who knows, you could get into a different set of troubles.


— Ihsan Complicated (@abamihsan) August 8, 2020

#3 Assemble your witnesses

If you receive a summon in a public place for, say, not wearing a face mask (but you obviously were), ask around and see if any one is willing to step forward as a witness for you. Take down the person's contact details and if the investigators ask if you have a witness to your claim, you can always give your new found friend a call.  

#4 Do not argue with the authorities

This is most probably the most important rule. Even if you feel that you're being treated unfairly, don't make matters worse by arguing. Do keep calm and avoid making a scene. You could be hauled up for obstruction of justice if you're screaming in the abang polis' face, and the punishment for that is even more severe than a mere RM1,000 fine. So, if the authorities are writing up a summons, calmly make your case and if they refuse to listen, follow the steps above and make an appeal later.

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