KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 15 – The proposal to amend the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1998 (Act 342) should be reviewed, urged Deputy President Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.
He said punishing individuals who violated standard operations such as failing to wear face masks and physical imprisonment up to a maximum fine of RM10,000 or up to seven years imprisonment is highly unreasonable, especially when the bill does not include guidelines for issuing compounds.
“The Director General of Health’s reasoning that it is being refined and will be finalized after the law is passed is not in line with the objective of this amendment,” said the Barisan Nasional (BN) deputy chairman in a statement today.
He further commented that no law should be passed without all the information and details explained transparently for the consideration of legislators.
“Such ‘piecemeal’ actions show the unpreparedness of the Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH) in drafting the amendment. Any action to expedite this bill cannot ignore transparency and justice.
“Justice rushed is justice crushed,” he said.
Furthermore, Mohamad added the country must learn from this pandemic episode.
“One of the reasons why we continue in the current situation is because of our failure to implement justice in enforcement because there have been many cases of treatment and action of ‘two degrees’ between ordinary people and those in power.
“Villagers, traders and ordinary people, are compounded unreasonably. But notable people, are fined very lightly. In the big cities of other countries, we are given a face mask if we do not bring it. We are advised politely, “he said.
Similarly, he said, Malaysia cannot be a ‘punitive’ country.
“This country must be a country whose laws must be implemented with humanity. Remember that justice is in the right hand, kindness is in the left hand,” he said.