Fines for failure to wear facemasks should be steep, rebuts Kho

KUCHING, Aug 14: For those who claim that RM1,000 is too steep a fine for not wearing a face mask in public, that is exactly as it should be, opined Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Women chief Kho Teck Wan.

Bandar Kuching MP Kelvin Yii recently proposed a tiered system to punish people who don’t wear face masks.

“I disagree with Yii and his fellow Democratic Action Party (DAP) MPs. In my opinion, ‘too steep’ is what a fine should be. The sole purpose of a fine is to deter people and therefore the amount needs to be high enough to prevent the offence.

“If everyone can afford the fine, then more will disobey the order. The consequences of not wearing a face mask can cause massive outbreak that disrupt normal daily operations, impact the country’s economy, unemployment, and worst of all – death.

“Hence, is a fine of RM1,000 too steep for an offence that can cause all these?” Kho asked.

Although the ceiling price of 3-layer face mask has dropped to RM1 per piece, Kho understands that not everyone can afford to spend that amount for daily use.

She therefore urged the federal government to lower the ceiling price of face mask once again.

“Since schools in Kuching, Samarahan and Serian districts will be in full session starting next week, more parents will need to prepare face mask for their children when school re-open,” Kho added.

It has been five months since Malaysia declared the Movement Control Order (MCO) in March.

Kho believed that the rakyat in general was now well aware of the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and advised to practice precautions when going out.

She pointed that by now, everyone should know that wearing a face mask will reduce the chances of getting infected.

“Since there is no cure for Covid-19, we should focus our energy and efforts on awareness, prevention and more random swab tests instead of a petition to reduce the fine.

“Life is too precious. Let us all help by reminding everyone to wear a face mask. A reusable mask made out of cloth is better than no mask at all. Together we can overcome Covid-19,” she added.

Meanwhile, Kho also urged Samaritans to offer a mask to the elderly or any strangers who forget to wear them in public.—DayakDaily