Dewan Rakyat to debate RM1,000 fine for face mask

By S.Harrish

PARLIAMENT will debate an emergency motion on the issue of the RM1,000 fine for flouting the face mask rule.

Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen had raised the motion under Order 18(1), calling for amendments to the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act to lower the fine.

“Since implementation of the ruling on Aug 1, there has been confusion over the definition of ‘crowded public places’ and uncertainty over enforcement,” he said when raising the motion in Dewan Rakyat today, reports The Star.

Dr Kelvin Yii

He said uncertainties over the definitions could give rise to selective punishment and the fine was also disproportionate and unfair, especially for the poor, students, disabled and those under the B40 category.

Deputy Speaker Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon confirmed receiving Dr Yii’s notice to raise the emergency motion on Thursday.

“After considering the matter, I have decided that the motion fulfills the three criteria of it being a specific issue, of public interest and an urgent matter,” he said.

Mohd Rashid said he allowed the motion to be debated at 2.30pm today but in the Parliament’s Special Chambers.

Yesterday, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the government was unlikely to amend the law to lower the fine but said the public can appeal on the fines.

Dr Yii and Kluang MP Wong Shu Qi had spearheaded a petition for MPs to support the reduction in fines.

In the petition, the group had proposed that first-time offenders be slapped with RM250 fine, while second-time offenders RM500.

Those who flout the rule for the third time and beyond should be fined RM1,000 for each offence.

Dr Yii had said the proposal received bipartisan support, with 106 MPs in favour, out of the 222 members in the Dewan Rakyat.