BN gets RM10,000 rap over mass gathering

MoH fine comes hours after opposition lambasts coalition for SOP breaches during Melaka polls machinery launch

KUALA LUMPUR : Barisan Nasional (BN) has been slapped with an RM10,000 fine following a mass gathering organised by the coalition in the World Trade Centre yesterday evening.

The Health Ministry shared a screenshot of the compound issued to the Executive Secretary of the coalition shortly after midnight this morning for the violation of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988.

Barisan Nasional members seen not maintaining physical distancing at WTC KL yesterday evening during the coalition’s election machinery launch, though distanced seating was observed during the ceremony itself. – Screen grab

The fine came mere hours after opposition members slammed BN over the breach of standard operating procedures (SOPs) during the launch of the Melaka BN election machinery.

The event last night saw at least several hundreds of its members present in the building, including the coalition’s top leadership.

The gathering, which was live-streamed on social media, also comes several hours after the youth-led party Muda was slapped with an RM4,000 fine over holding a press conference involving five of its members in Melaka.

Prior to BN receiving the fine, Muda founder Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman posted a tweet of the coalition’s gathering, pointing out alleged double standards.

“(For) Muda’s press conference, SOPs observed, 5 people, face masks worn, social distancing observed, below 10 minutes = RM4,000 compound,” he tweeted.

“Umno BN launches machinery, large hall, mass gathering, failed social distancing, from evening till morning = No action taken.

“The people of Melaka must punish this arrogant party!!”

DAP’s Syahredzan Johan also shared several screenshots of BN’s gathering, showing party leaders posing for photographs up close with other party members.

“We can see that the prohibition of campaigning for the Melaka elections is actually nonsense,” Syahredzan said.

“We quickly forget that there are two standards when it comes to this government. There is one set of laws for Umno and PN (Perikatan Nasional), and another for other people.”

Muda co-founder Lim Wei Jet also chimed in on the discussion on social media, pointing out that his party received a fine even though the press conference was held in an open space and only attended by a few representatives.

“Umno does this in an enclosed area with hundreds of people, no distancing – I bet they won’t even receive a warning,” he said.

“There are double standards in Malaysia – one law for the powerful, one for the rest of us.”

On Sunday, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said any activity, gathering or social event related to the elections is not allowed from October 25 to November 27.

Khairy said this in light of the Melaka election, which falls on November 20.

“The ministry predicts many assemblies and social gatherings related to the election will be held involving many individuals engaged in mass gatherings nationwide,” Khairy said in a statement.

“Any social event that is held without compliance to SOPs, including physical distancing, which is hard to observe, will increase the risk of spreading Covid-19.”

By : A. Azim Idris – THE VIBES

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