By Chew Lip Song
ALL a 25-year-old youth wanted was to have a RM5 chicken rice meal from a restaurant in Miri. But the lad had to fork out RM1,000 more after enforcement officers fined him for not writing down his full name in the logbook at the restaurant entrance.
Instead of writing the name reflected on his MyKad, the diner wrote an English name followed by his surname. The English name was not on his identification card.
Officials conducting random checks on the adherence to the Covid-19 Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) had asked the youth to produce his MyKad. When they noted the discrepancy between the entry in the logbook and the identification card, they promptly slapped him the fine, Sin Chew Daily reported.
The youth had sought the help of ex-Miri mayor and prominent lawyer Datuk Lawrence Lai Yew Son to highlight his plight.
Expressing shock over the incident, Lai said the enforcement officers had been overly strict to the point that it had deviated from the objective of the SOP, which was to enable contract tracing.
“The point in writing your personal details in the logbook is to enable contact tracing,” said Lai in the report, adding that the authorities should come up with clear guidelines on this matter.
He added that while the youth may have technically breached the SOP, it was unfortunate that this had to happen to him. The youth had only started working and earned a monthly salary of only RM1,200 and the fine came as a heavy burden.
Lai added that it would be wrong if diners enter derogatory or vulgar words in the logbook as their names, but many people regularly give themselves an English names which may not be found on their MyKad.
“Registering details outside the restaurants or shops is for contact tracing purposes and not to check on one’s family details. It is not right to make people feel that enforcement officers are doing this for the sake of enforcement only,” he added.