Reconsider proposed amendment to Act 342, says Mohamad Hasan

SEREMBAN: A proposal by the Health Ministry to amend legislation to provide stiffer penalties for those who flout Covid-19 standard operating procedures should be reconsidered, says Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan(pic).

The Umno deputy president said the proposed amendments, which included punishing individuals who violate the SOPs with a maximum compound of RM10,000 from the current RM1,000 and increasing the jail term from six months to seven years were highly unreasonable.

“The proposed Amendments to the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1998 or Act 342 should be re-examined especially when the bill does not include guidelines for issuing compounds.

“The Health Director General’s reasoning that it is being refined and will be finalised after the law is passed is not in line with the objective of this Amendment,” he said.

Mohamad said no law should be passed on a “piecemeal” basis or without all the information and details explained transparently for the consideration of the legislature.

He said the authorities should be transparent and fair, adding that “justice rushed is justice crushed.”

Mohamad said this is important as there had been many cases where ordinary people were given heavy compound notices, adding that the authorities need to be considerate when imposing laws.

On Tuesday (Dec 14), Dr Noor Hisham said companies and organisations that flout the Covid-19 SOPs stand to be fined a hefty RM1mil maximum when a proposed amendment to the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 is passed in Parliament.

After the revocation of the Emergency Ordinances on Dec 8, the maximum fine that could be imposed on individuals or companies was only RM1,000 and this had become an issue recently.