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8 Sabah Villagers Fined For Violating SOP, PDRM Says It’s To “Spread Awareness”



Source: HRW & Berita Harian

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On 27 January, eight villagers including an illegal taxi driver were fined RM1,000 each for violating the standard operating procedures (SOP) during the Movement Control Order (MCO).

According to Harian Metro, the villagers claimed that they had gone out to buy necessities, however, authorities issued them compounds for travelling in an illegal taxi that exceeded the maximum capacity allowed for public transport.

A video of the eight villagers expressing their sorrow from receiving the compounds went viral on social media not long after.

Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Hazani Ghazali said that he sympathises with the plight of the eight villagers, but added that such an action was taken to spread awareness to the public on the importance of complying with the SOPs.

“I sympathize with them, especially on the illegal taxis. We are quite tolerant but some of them seem to be ‘cacing naik ke mata’ (Malay proverb meaning – behaving in an extreme manner) when they irresponsibly violate the SOPs and use sentiments for charity to cover up their wrongdoing,” he said.

“They do not know much (about the SOP) but because the illegal taxi driver wants to make more profit, the police has to take action.”

Hazani then explained that the viral video circulating on social media is a form of provocation to the security forces who have been using a lot of discretionary power during MCO. He added that if the police were to fully enforce the SOPs, more compounds would be issued.

“Therefore, we advise the community to comply with the SOPs,” he said.

“Starting today as well, I will ensure that all District Police Chiefs (KPD) and frontliners take firm and uncompromising action for any individual who violates the SOPs.”

“Police will also take action against illegal taxi drivers throughout the state.”


Fines settled by local politician

After hearing about the incident, Datuk Peter Anthony, Member of Sabah State Legislative Assembly for Melalap, has since come forward to help these villagers settle the compound fines.

In Facebook post, he said that he understands the individuals involved consist of senior citizens and OKUs who were on their way to Tenom to buy food and medical supplies.

“In view of humanity, I feel called to help them pay for the compound fine because I understand the situation and condition of villagers living away from the town areas, and some of them don’t even have internet and TV access to follow current developments, especially those related to the SOPs during the MCO,” he said.

“Today I managed to go to the bank and rushed to Tenom Hospital to help pay the compound fines. I managed to advise them to always comply with SOPs in the future. Hopefully, this small help will lighten the burdens of the people involved.”

Datuk Peter Anthony added that after everything was settled, he managed to pack some food for them before they went home.


Also read: Deliveryman Waiting Alone In Car For Restaurant Orders Fined For Loitering

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