KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 15 — A DAP MP today has urged the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government to set up a special complaints committee for the public to report allegations of over-policing and abuse of power in Covid-19 enforcement efforts.
Seputeh MP Teresa Kok said that while she appreciates its good intentions in curbing the spread of Covid-19, the government should also be mindful that inevitably, there will be cases of power abuse and corruption by enforcement personnel.
“My proposal will alleviate public grouses of there being no avenue for aggrieved persons, to lodge complaints or to seek appeals against disproportionate fines.
“I have received complaints that some enforcement officers are intentionally making life difficult for business owners. There are allegations of corruption. The earlier news clip on TV3, showed a youth breaking down publicly after being fined RM1,000 for just pulling down his face mask past his nose, for a few seconds. This is appalling,” she said in a statement.
Kok added that the current blanket imposition of a RM1,000 compound for non-compliance is “unconscionable and disproportionate for all transgressions”.
She said that a special committee would also ensure transparency and protect the image and integrity of law enforcement agencies.
“I support the petition started by Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii and Kluang MP Wong Shu Qi to reduce the compounds for non-compliance of face masks in crowded public areas, be introduced in stages, with RM250 for a first-time offender.
“Hence, it is timely that my suggestion of setting up a special committee or an Ombudsman to review the harsh penalties imposed given that the pandemic has already caused enough suffering on the rakyat,” she added.