12 April 2020
The compound fines for those who breach the movement control order (MCO) will remain at RM1,000 for now, according to Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
This was his reply to a journalist’s question if the fine was perhaps too low.
“Yes, the fine is indeed too low, but the law is clear on the penalty at RM1,000.
“If we want to change it, we have to bring the matter up to Parliament first. As of today, the compound is still RM1,000,” he said in a press conference today.
However, Ismail Sabri said the police can use their discretion to decide whether to issue a compound fine or bring a case to court, depending on the severity of the offense committed.
“The court then has the power to decide to imprison offenders.
“On cases brought to court, the court has the power to decide the penalty. It will be out of police’s hands,” he said.
Ismail Sabri said that offenses committed are not just of those breaching the MCO, but also offenses under the Penal Code, such as obstruction of justice.
“There are also those who have rammed roadblocks and injured police officers. These kinds of actions will be dealt with harsher punishments,” he said.
On how the government will address congestion in prisons should more MCO offenders be imprisoned, Ismail Sabri said it would be better to leave the matter to the police and prison authorities.
“We shall let the police and prison authorities decide if they want to enforce social distancing or other such measures,” he said.
During the press conference, Ismail Sabri said the military, together with the police, had on Saturday, conducted 783 roadblocks, checked 435,361 vehicles, conducted 48,123 spot-checks, and inspected 6,158 premises nationwide.
He also said the police had arrested 1,220 individuals for breach of the MCO, 854 of whom were slapped with compound fines of RM1,000 each.
“345 of those arrested were remanded, while 21 were given police bail.
“From March 18 to April 11, a total amount of 2,156 police compounds have been issued to those who breached the MCO, while the total number of cumulative arrests is 8,125,“ he added.