Giving MCO offenders tickets a good move, say lawyers

Police will begin issuing RM1,000 compound notices to those who breach the movement control order.

PETALING JAYA: Lawyers have welcomed the government’s move to issue compound notices to those who defy the movement control order (MCO), saying it will alleviate the workload of the police force as well as the courts, and reduce the possible transmission of the Covid-19 virus.

A Srimurugan said police would no longer need to record statements and produce suspects before magistrates to obtain a remand order.

“There is also no necessity to keep suspects in lock-ups before they are charged in court and sent to jail,” he said.

“The risk of police officers, prison wardens and inmates being infected could be drastically reduced.”

Bukit Aman Internal Security and Public Order Department director Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani said yesterday that police would begin issuing RM1,000 compound notices to those who breached the MCO.

He said the compound notice would have to be settled at any health ministry office within two weeks.

“Those who disobey the MCO will be brought to the police station before being handed the compound notice,” he said.

Those who further refuse to pay the compound amount will be brought to court.

Lawyer M Visvanathan agreed that bringing offenders to police stations would defeat the purpose of social distancing.

He said offenders should be compounded on the spot, in the same way that police issue summonses to traffic offenders.

But he also said that RM1,000 was a hefty fine, especially for those from the lower income group.

“Alternatives like doing community service after the MCO period should be looked into,” he said.

Lawyer Alliff Benjamin Suhaimi said issuing compound fines to MCO offenders would help decrease the workload of the police, whom he said were currently “overworked”.

He also voiced hope that the earlier spate of arrests would be enough to deter others from breaching the MCO.