PETALING JAYA: An opposition MP has urged Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador to ensure that the police enforce the law across the board, as a double standard would cause the people to become cynical about the force.
Hamid had said on Saturday that higher penalties should be imposed on those who flout the restrictions of the movement control order.
“Before you increase the fines, you need to be fair,” said Klang MP Charles Santiago. “You have to bring those in the wrong to court, even if they’re ministers. That’s when you can ensure that people have confidence (in law enforcement).”
“If the police apply one standard for the rich and another for the poor, or one for politicians and another for normal people, then of course people will be critical and cynical,” he told FMT.
Santiago said there had been a lot of apprehension and criticism about the way the law has been applied, more specifically the law on infectious diseases.
“If the law is not applied fairly across the board, then the criticism falls, not on the law, but on those enforcing it, which are the police.”
He said the public generally felt that enforcement has not been fair to ordinary folk, adding that some VIPs and ministers could be openly seen flouting rules and regulations without getting punished.
“Before considering increasing the burden of the fine, I think the police would be better off applying the law in a fairer manner.”
Hamid had said it was time to raise the current compound fine of RM1,000 and said police had been issuing thousands of summonses every week.
Recently, federal territories minister Annuar Musa drew backlash when he posted a photo of himself on a morning walk with two others. Netizens were quick to point out that people were only to jog or cycle in pairs at most.
However Annuar said the three of them had been walking separately and had only bumped into each other by coincidence.
In a separate case, a cafe owner in Johor was recently fined for not wearing a mask despite not being in a crowded public place. However, Johor police said MCO rules stated masks were required in outdoor public places when other people are present, even if the area is not crowded.