PETALING JAYA: The proposed penalties for standard operating procedure violations in the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Amendment) Act 1988 (Act 342) have been lowered following a public outcry.

According to Sin Chew Daily, the initially proposed maximum fine of RM100,000 or seven years’ jail for individuals under Section 24(a) have been lowered to RM2,000 and two years’ jail.

The initial maximum RM1mil fine for a corporate body under Section 25(b) has also been lowered to RM500,000.

In the revised Act, Section 31(3) states that when charged in court, an individual can be fined up to RM1,500 or jailed up to two years, or both, and a company can be fined up to RM1mil.

The decision to lower the fines came in the wake of the outcry over the initial fines contained in a Bill tabled in Parliament on Tuesday to amend the Act.

The daily also said that all MPs had received a document on the latest proposed amendments to the Act.

On Tuesday, the Health Ministry lowered the fines over the initial sum contained in the Bill when tabled in Parliament for its first reading following a major outcry from the people and businesses.

They criticised the initially proposed maximum fines, describing them as “excessive”.

Currently under Act 342, health authorities are only empowered to impose a maximum fine of RM1,000 against companies and individuals who flout Covid-19 SOPs.

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