Sibu eatery outlet operators view RM10,000 fine as too excessive

Customers patronising a coffee shop in Sibu.

SIBU, March 14: The RM10,000 fine imposed on an assistant of a Kampua stall and a coffeeshop operator in Sibu Jaya for violating the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) is causing worries to eatery outlet operators.

The 23-year-old female assistant was caught by an integrated SOP (standard operating procedures) monitoring team yesterday for pulling her mask down to her chin. The 53-year-old coffee shop operator, meanwhile was faulted for not putting up barricade line around his premises.

Chairman of Sibu Coffeeshop and Owner Association chairman Tong Ing Kok in response said the majority of them viewed that the fine is too excessive as the Covid-19 pandemic had impacted their business severely.

“We are all very worried. The previous fine of RM1,000 was already a big burden for us, what’s more to say RM10,000,” he said.

They are worried that despite having all the SOPs in place, action could also be taken against them not due to their fault but that of their customers.

“We are all following the SOP guidelines such as providing hand sanitiser, MySejahtera code, temperature scanner, log book for customers to register. However it is difficult for us to ensure that everything is in good order 100 per cent as there are always certain stubborn customers who act differently,” he said.

Tong said he had come across some customers who simply refused to scan the MySejahtera code even when told.

“Sometimes we can’t do anything if our customers refuse to cooperate. But we are worried that action will be taken against us because of them,” he said.

Touching on the RM10,000 fine which came into effect on March 11, he suggested that those eatery outlet operators caught for not complying with the SOP should be temporary banned from operating for two weeks instead of fining them.

“This is one of the most effective ways to make them adhere to the SOP. If the fine is too low, they will not take it seriously but if it is RM10,000 they cannot afford it either,” he added.

Likewise, he said the government should find ways to help them during this challenging time instead of coming up with a new law to penalise them for non-compliance of SOP. — DayakDaily