KUCHING, May 19: Kuching South City Council (MBKS) should allow other enforcement agencies to issue them compound notices for failing to adhere to Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs), opines former Stampin MP Julian Tan.
Yesterday, MBKS mayor Dato Wee Hong Seng requested his enforcement team to issue him a compound for violating the SOP as Sarawak is currently under Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO).
Wee also apologised to the public for allowing a simple birthday lunch accorded to him by his friends at his office.
Tan, who is now a special assistant to Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman Chong Chien Jen said as the premises owner, MBKS should set a good example by allowing other enforcement agencies such as the police to issue them the compound for allowing such an event within the building.
“This is due to possible conflict of interest. It is only proper for MBKS to allow other enforcement agencies such as the police to issue them the compound instead of themselves.
“If this were the case of a restaurant, both the business owner and customers who did not comply with the SOP would be fined. Business owners can be slapped (with) up to a maximum penalty of RM50,000, which they can appeal to the Health Ministry should they wish to lower the amount,” Tan said in a statement.
He also alleged that everchanging and conflicting SOPs between districts also created much confusion among the public and business owners.
With the current RM10,000 penalty for individuals and RM50,000 penalty for the business owner, Tan asserted that it is deemed too heavy.
Although the public can appeal their cases, Tan added that the process is not that seamless nor contactless.
“A slight overlook quickly lands the public and business owners (with a) full fledge (range) of compounds instead of just a warning. The law enforcers should exercise some flexibility as not to unfairly burden the public, especially so when the offender commits the offense not as an act of defiance but by sheer carelessness or forgetfulness. Many are just honest or unintentional mistakes; they should be let off with a reprimand.
“In contrast, MBKS, as one of the enforcement agencies, knowing full well of the SOP compliance, did not receive the same ‘full treatment’ as any other business owners,” Tan asserted, adding that even MBKS overlooked and allowed the event to proceed.
While stringent SOPs are in place to curb Covid-19, he also said that there should be no double standards when it comes to its implementation.
“Sarawak did not implement a full lockdown and according to Sarawak Health director Dr Chin Zin Hing, they were already in crisis with full ICU beds across Sarawak and SOP compliance is all that we have.
“Covid-19 can infect anyone for the disease does not differentiate between status or position so the SOPs must be adhered to by everyone,” Tan said. — DayakDaily