It seems like these days, all it takes for the government to rethink their decision is to create a lot of noise on social media.
That's because they've done so yet again.
A special case
After a recent decision to issue a RM50,000 compound to a burger seller from Kota Baru, Kelantan for failing to adhere to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) was met with a huge uproar online, the government said it will reevaluate the case.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba told Malay Mail
that the Ministry of Health takes the case really seriously, and they are very concerned about the plight of the burger seller.
Dr Adham has also urged the man to appeal against the compound as soon as possible.
"The ministry views this as a special case and it needs to be addressed immediately,” he was quoted as saying.
He added that the purpose of issuing a compound is not merely to punish, but to educate as well.
“Those who were issued compounds were always given an opportunity to defend themselves and were allowed to file an appeal according to the stipulated mechanism,” he added.
"In this regard, the ministry will reevaluate the case whether to give a reduction or an exemption if there is a reasonable ground,” Dr Adham was further quoted as saying.
Violated the MCO SOPs before
On Monday (26 April), a burger seller in Kota Baru, Kelantan was issued with a maximum compound of RM50,000 for failing to adhere to the set standard operating procedures.
reported that the seller, Wan Mohd Faisal Wan Kadir, was fined for keeping his burger stall opened past the regulated time of 10pm.
Kota Baru district police chief ACP Abdul Rahim Daud told the news agency that the 38-year-old man also violated MCO violations by setting up tables for customers and failing to provide a body temperature scanner.
“Due to the offences, we issued the maximum compound of RM50,000. However, he can appeal to the Health Ministry for a reduction,” ACP Abdul Rahim was quoted as saying.
According to ACP Abdul Rahim, Wan Mohd Faisal was slapped with a RM1,000 fine for similar offences before this.
Wan Mohd Faisal told Bernama
that the incident happened at around 11.10pm on Sunday (25 April) when the policemen approached him.
“I have folded the tables but haven’t closed the stall as I was preparing orders for factory workers," he was quoted as saying, adding that he hopes the authorities will reduce the fine amount as he could not afford to pay.
After Wan Mohd Faisal took to Facebook to air his grievances, netizens rally to his side, with many calling out the harsh punishment.
Responding to the controversy, minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan has clarified that the maximum fine for Wan Mohd Faisal's offence should not have been RM50,000.
He told Malay Mail
that business operators exceeding their permissible opening hours is a Category 3 offence, and it carries a maximum fine of RM10,000.
Takiyuddin further explained that although the government used an Emergency Ordinance to raise the penalty rates under the Prevention and Infectious Diseases Control Act, these were still subject to guidelines that were subsequently issued by the government.
“According to the guidelines, the actions of a licensee and the owner of the premise who fails to comply with the operating hours of the premise is a category 3 offence punishable by a maximum compound of RM10,000.00," he was quoted as saying.
He added that Wan Mohd Faisal will get a 50 per cent reduction if he pays the fine within seven days, and a 25 per cent if paid within a period of 14 days.