However, it seems some individuals are ahead of the curve. They’re using the threat of the RM10,000 fine for their own gain.
Facebook community Uncle Kentang made a post on 14th March detailing a poor woman’s story. Apparently her son was fined for not wearing a mask when he was taking a smoke break behind the restaurant he worked at. Her son explained that he wouldn’t be able to send money to her for a few months as he would need to pay off the RM10,000 fine.
“If that’s the case, I’m better off dead,” the woman exclaimed. She clarified that she needed the money for her diabetes and high blood pressure medication. Thankfully, she later reported that the fine was reduced to RM1000 which the restaurant owner helped pay off. The incident blew up quickly, with even former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak sharing it.
However, yesterday (15th March), the son finally admitted he lied. He failed to produce the subpoena when asked, and the police added they hadn’t issued him a fine. It turns out he was creating excuses to not give money to his mother. The admin of Uncle Kentang expressed his disappointment but promised to help the woman with her expenses.
Netizens also suspect social media influencer Zachary Yeoh of fabricating his RM10,000 fine to gain attention. Zachary complained that he and his companion, Samantha Loh were fined RM10,000 each for eating and drinking at a restaurant in Cheras. According to his post, they had taken their masks off when their drinks arrived and “a group of 10 officers barged in“. The officers issued summons, “without allowing us to clarify or defend ourselves” Zachary stated. “This is illegal. This is ridiculous. This is daylight robbery.”
While his post was impressively specific with timestamps of each event, netizens still weren’t convinced. Many of them demanded a photo of the summons as proof. A few suspected the couple hadn’t scanned the MySejahtera code. Others were just amazed that their drinks arrived in 2 minutes. Zachary responded via his Instagram story that they had scanned their temperature and registered with the code. However, he refused to share the summons, stating he did not want to disclose personal info.
Yesterday (14th March), Bukit Aman CID director Comm Datuk Huzir Mohamed stated that after investigating, they found the summons were not issued by the police. They were actually issued by another government agency. They’ve recorded statements from the couple to assist in the investigation. “We are scrutinising the case and we have referred the allegations made by the couple to the Health Ministry.” Comm Huzir stated. “We will investigate further.”
Being fined RM10,000 is no joke, but clearly people have found ways to make it work for them. Nevertheless, do make sure to obey the SOPs, not just to avoid the fine but also to ensure we don’t start another spread of Covid-19.