Nightclub and pub goers to be slapped with maximum fine

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Going to a pub or nightclub is among the worst offences, with culprits liable to a RM10,000 fine for breaching Covid-19 rules, said Law Minister Takiyuddin Hassan.

RM1,500 fine for:

  • First-time offenders who do not wear masks
  • Not registering using the MySejahtera app to check-in
  • Not adhering to physical distancing

“Anybody who commits the offence of going to or being at a pub or nightclub, including business premises such as a restaurant in a pub or nightclub, can be issued a maximum fine of RM10,000,” he said.

Pub and nightclubs are still not allowed to reopen under movement restrictions to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Operators who breach the orders by opening their outlets will be issued a maximum compound of RM50,000, Takiyuddin added.

He said this falls under the first of three categories of compoundable offences under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act (Act 342).

Takiyuddin said the severity of offences were now listed according to the First Category (offences resulting in high infection risks and significant impact to the community on a large-scale), Second Category (offences resulting in high infection risks but less significant impact to the community) and Third Category (offences resulting in low infection risks and zero impact to the community).

Seven offences are listed under the first category, Takiyuddin said.

Others include failure by private physicians to report any case of infectious disease to the Health Ministry.

He said these offences will be issued a compound of RM5,000, but the maximum is RM10,000.

“In the midst of Covid-19, we need laws to maintain order and not to punish or torment anyone.

“For the purpose of compounding and enforcement under Act 342, the Cabinet has earlier decided to stipulate the nature of offences under the aforementioned Act into three categories,” he said in a press conference.

Among the offences under the Third Category are failure to maintain physical distance between others, operating beyond the stipulated business hours, not wearing face-masks, and failing to register before entering a shop or common area.

Takiyuddin said these were also the most common violations committed.

“An individual who commits an offence for failing to wear a face-mask – for the first time it’s RM1,500.

TMI

“Failure to register when entering premises using MySejahtera or a logbook, they are fined RM1,500 out of the maximum stipulated fine of RM10,000.

Takiyuddin said all this was decided at today’s cabinet meeting, adding that the meeting also agreed that any individual or company wishing to settle the compounds within seven days would be given a 50 percent discount.

“If payment is made within two weeks of the issuance of the compound, then it would be a 25 percent discount,” he said.

Those making payments beyond the 14-day window would have to settle the sum in full or risk being hauled to court, said Takiyuddin, adding that appeals can be made via a form on the Health Ministry website.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba, who was present, said there had been no appeals yet on the compounds issued under the new rates.

The RM10,000 compound for Covid-19 rule violations was raised from RM1,000 effective March 11 and drew widespread criticism for being excessive, especially if violators are elderly, poor or uneducated.

Takiyuddin said the health authorities and police have also directed their officers to issue compounds as a last resort after advice and instructions are ignored.

“Compounds are issued based on the law and those on the outside who want to comment on its implementation should understand this. Many parties have tried to confuse matters and say that the laws are to punish and so on.

“I hope these parties are careful and be on their guard as these are rules that are done based on the laws.”

Takiyuddin also said the government has set-up an SOP implementation team comprising the police, armed forces, Rela and the enforcement officers of local councils.

He said the team would be identifiable from their armbands that read “Team SOP” and estimated they would be on the streets by April 1.