Don’t penalise business owners who breach SOPs just yet, says Sabah MP

Kota Kinabalu MP Chan Foong Hin (right) handing out face masks to a hawker at the city’s central market today.

KOTA KINABALU: A Sabah MP has asked local authorities for some leniency towards business owners who breach standard operating procedures (SOPs) during the conditional movement control order (MCO) period, saying the violations could be unintentional.

DAP’s Kota Kinabalu MP Chan Foong Hin said enforcement units from local councils such as the Kota Kinabalu City Hall should not immediately penalise those who appeared to have flouted the SOPs, especially first-time offenders.

Instead, he said, the public should be educated before issued warnings.

“Issuing fines or closing business premises should only be taken as a last resort if there is repeated non-compliance,” he said after visiting the Kota Kinabalu central market here today.

Chan, who is also state DAP secretary, said most shops in the central business district here were still closed, adding that those that were open had certain measures in place for crowd control.

“This shows that most businesses are willing to comply with SOPs as long as these are clear, unambiguous and do not involve a great deal of effort or difficulty.

“I visited the market this morning for the distribution of masks, and I noticed that even vegetable sellers and hawkers are complying with the SOPs to the best that they can, even with the reduction in business,” he said.

Although their businesses had been affected, he said, they still understood and accepted measures by the government to control the spread of Covid-19.

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