Health ministry to get public feedback on bigger fine for flouting SOPs

Health Minister Dr Adham Baba says enforcement officers have discretion to lower the compound from RM1,000.

KOTA TINGGI: The health ministry will get the public’s feedback before proceeding with the proposal to increase the compound for offenders under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342).

Its minister Dr Adham Baba said this is necessary as there are some asking for the compound to be reduced.

“The ministry welcomes the approval given by the prime minister yesterday for its proposal to increase the compound. However, we will look at the response from the public (first) because there have been MPs asking for the compound to be reduced,” he said.

Currently, the law provides a maximum fine of RM1,000 against those caught violating SOPs under the Act.

Adham, who is the Tenggara MP, said the compound imposed on offenders depended on the discretion of the issuing enforcement officer.

“Although the maximum compound under Act 342 is RM1,000, the enforcement personnel can use their discretion to set the amount from RM100 or RM200, but if the offence is serious, then it is appropriate to impose the maximum compound,” he said.

On the requirement for body temperature scanning, Adham said the ministry viewed it as important as a first step to detect those with Covid-19 infection.

He said the move facilitated the ministry in separating those with and without symptoms so that those with symptoms could be isolated for further treatment.

The same approach was applied even in foreign countries, where visitors with body temperature of 37.5 and above would be separated for screening and may also have to undergo the RT-PCR (Real Time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction) test.

He said owners of premises should continue to take the body temperature of patrons and also see that they wore face masks.