As a member of the Special Committee of COVID-19 management chaired by Prime Minister Ismail Sabri, ACT 342 which intends to increase penalties for individual to RM100,000 and corporates to RM1 million as well as imprisonment to 7 years was never discussed.
What then is the point of having this Special Committee when what should be discussed was never brought up? No paper was ever presented as indicated during previous meetings. By right, Ismail should explain why this was not deliberated first in the Special Committee before being tabled in Parliament.
Clearly the deferment of debating the proposed Bill to Monday is cunningly calculated to avoid any negative political impact on the Sarawak state election tomorrow.
If the Bill was passed by the govt yesterday, then GPS may suffer some degree of voter backlash. Once the votes are cast tomorrow the govt can then proceed with passing the Bill that is detrimental to the interests of the rakyat.
By increasing the penalties astronomically this is harshly punitive on the rakyat. The govt should not be retributive in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic but should adopt preventive rehabilitative and mitigation measures to contain COVID-19.
Clearly this punitive approach shows that the government is running away from its responsibility for mismanaging COVID-19 by shifting the blame on the people.
This is both wrong and incompetent. Showing leadership by example stopping policy flip-flops and SOPs U-turns and as well as ending double-standards and abuses of power are more effective to ensure SOP compliance.
DAP will oppose this Bill on Monday so that the people will not unfairly shoulder the blame and be harshly penalised for the government’s failure.
Lim Guan Eng