A lot of people have dividing thoughts whenever they come across news about individuals being directly slapped with a compound for violating the SOPs. Most of them argued that there are also individuals out there who have to wait for the police to conduct an investigation on the case, criticising the authorities for apparently practising double standards.
In shedding some light on the heated debate about the matter, a lawyer known as Mufarwa Farid shared a lengthy statement on his Facebook to talk about the difference in treatment towards those who have flouted the SOPs.
Here’s what he said:
“First and foremost, the ‘suit’ (lawsuit) imposed is actually referred to as a compound,” Mufarwa opened his explanation. “The difference is, compounds can be paid prior to entering the court. On the contrary, one has to go to the court to pay the lawsuit.”
So, why are there individuals charged with direct compounds at the scene and why do some have to wait for investigation papers to be opened? Are the cops playing favourites in this case?
According to the legal practitioner, “The answer is no. Those slapped with direct compounds have been found flouting the SOPs in front of the law enforcers. On the other hand, the individuals who violated the SOP with the authorities not around must be investigated first.”
He then added, “For example, the person was not wearing a face mask while going to the store, before being detected by the police or health officer. The individual would be issued a maximum of RM10,000 compound.”
In addition, Mufarwa also revealed that if a wedding ceremony was held not in accordance to the SOPs and without the attendance of the police or health officers, then there’ll be no direct compound imposed. “If the authorities ambushed, or passed by the event fortuitously, or received a report from the public, then they can be compounded straight away,” he explained.
“Basically, if the officers witness people violating the SOPs, they’re allowed to issue the compound directly. Otherwise, the public can call the police to impose the compound in case they aren’t seen or aren’t physically there at the scene,” he continued.
So, what can we do if the ceremony is over, but photos of the guests failing to comply to the health rules started circulating online? In this case, as a member of the public, we can lodge a complaint to the police so that they can conduct the investigation.
Mufarwa clarified, “This is why the police have to open the investigation paper. They have to call upon the organiser and will have to determine which part of the SOPs that were violated by these people. Simply put, if it’s already happened (flouting SOPs), then the police will conduct an investigation. They can’t just easily issue the compound without any solid evidence.”
Additionally, the police officers who are authorised to issue the RM10k compound are those with the rank of inspector and above only. If the person was compounded by an officer of a lower rank than an inspector, the compound is considered invalid and the individual will not be compounded or sued in court.
In related news, the Pekan District Health Office has issued a RM10k compound to those who visited the Sri Maulana mosque in Taman Sri Maulana. As reported by Utusan, the committee members have failed to provide MySejahtera QR code and also the registration book for the visitors.
Pahang state Health Department Director Datuk Dr. Bahari Tok Muda Awang Ngah stated, “I was informed that the mosque has failed to adhere to the standard operating procedures (SOPs). So, the compound was issued so that others can learn from the incident. In fact, the Sri Maulana Mosque has made the payment of the compound with a discount of 50%.”
Meanwhile, the chairman of the state Islamic Religious Affairs and Education Committee, Datuk Seri Syed Ibrahim Syed Ahmad, also chimed in to relay his statement about the case. He revealed that his party had asked the Pahang Islamic Religious Department (JAIP) to conduct continuous monitoring at mosques and suraus in the state.
“We have asked the JAIP enforcement officers to ensure the QR code to be displayed and used by every individual who comes to the mosque. There might be some mistakes done by the mosque visitors or by the management that were beyond our expectations,” he was quoted as saying.