PETALING JAYA: A RM1,000 compound fine issued on a reporter covering the Johor elections has been cancelled, health minister Khairy Jamaluddin said.
He said he had reviewed the report by the ministry and found that the reporter in question was clearly not in the wrong. “I have asked for the fine to be cancelled,” he told reporters in Simpang Renggam, Johor.
Khairy also said he informed the ministry’s enforcers to either reprimand or issue journalists a warning first “unless (reporters) are (approaching individuals) for an interview”.
He also reminded the media to observe the SOPs.
Khairy said he also advised his officers to use their discretion when enforcing the law, saying he knew that many members of the public wanted to take selfies with the political leaders, some of which would last “five seconds”.
“(But) If they are really stubborn then it is okay to fine them,” he said.
Khairy also said he has not ruled out the possibility of penalising former prime minister Najib Razak for any SOP violations while campaigning in Perling. “If the video shows he has caused SOPs to be breached we will issue a compound,” Khairy said.
Yesterday, a reporter from Sin Chew Daily, Wong Kian Yong was issued a compound notice after he allegedly failed to observe physical distancing when approaching a candidate during the nominations in Larkin. A reporter from Malaysia Gazette, Khairulanuar Yahaya, was let off with a warning.