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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Big headache for families of MCO violators

Facing the law: Police leading detainees who violated the MCO into the Butterworth Court Complex.
GEORGE TOWN: The foolish act of people caught violating the movement control order (MCO) is giving their relatives headaches as their cases are brought to court.
For hours, the families of 33 people stood under the sun along Light Street while the courts heard their cases.
As they could not enter the courthouse during the MCO without specific business, parents, siblings and children stood by the roadside or sat along the sidewalk in the hot sun.
Police cars drove by several times and policemen and soldiers checked on all those gathered.
“We will only allow one family member of each accused to be here. And we want you all to stay apart from each other instead of gathering like this, ” a policeman told them sternly.
The misery of the family members was clear from chatting with them.
“I am waiting for my sister. She was arrested while standing outside the house, ” said a man. Asked if she had been exercising, he replied: “Something like that.”
A small group said they were waiting for their brother: “He went fishing at sea. When the boat came back to shore, police arrested him. He was remanded for four days.”
An unhappy mother waited alone for her son, saying he had gone to buy beer in Jalan Burma: “Then he saw some friends, stopped to chat with them and got arrested.”
Eleven of the accused who pleaded guilty
to violating the MCO were sentenced to two weeks’ jail and fined RM1,000, while another was jailed for a month and fined RM1,000 for insulting and pushing a policeman as well.Out of the 33 accused, those who claimed trial were a cyclist, a man jogging with his dog, three fishermen and three friends accused of hanging out with another two who had pleaded guilty.
Those who claimed trial were offered bail of RM4,000 to RM5,000, told to report to the police once a month and surrender their passports. The next mention date is May 12.
The 11 sentenced to spending the remaining 14 days of the MCO in jail and fined RM1,000 were fishermen hanging out in Jelutong and friends drinking beer off Jalan Burma.Five college students gathering publicly near Tanjung Tokong successfully pleaded for leniency and were ordered to serve three hours of community service daily for three months.Three others also succeeded in their pleas of mitigation. Two of them got seven days’ jail and were fined RM1,000, while the third got 10 days’ jail and was fined RM1,000.
Four others were jailed for two weeks but not fined.
Sessions Court judge Mazdi Abdul Hamid and magistrate Nur Fadrina Zulkhairi heard the cases, all of which were charged under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act (Measures within the Infected Local areas) Regulations 2020, which provides for a fine of up to RM1,000, jail of up to six months or both.In Butterworth, family members waited outside the courthouse for hours as 73 people aged between 15 and 55 were charged.
Most of them were sentenced to two to three months of community service, while others were fined RM1,000 in lieu of jail.
In central Seberang Prai, 62 people were charged for violating the MCO while in south Seberang Prai, 17 people were charged.
In Kuala Lumpur, 11 men who defied the MCO by jogging around Mont Kiara were given the maximum fine of RM1,000 each by a Magistrate’s Court.
Briton Jamie Bubb Sacklyn, 28; South Koreans Woo Yum-sik, 54, Lee Jong-young, 50, Kwang Suk-lee, 51; Japanese Koichi Itano, 60, Tanakatohishiko, 61, Mitsuhiru Takayanagi, 51, Taichi Okubo, 36; Indian Vikram Beliappa, 48; and Malaysians SK Ramani, 56, and Au Yong Vooi Loon, 31, pleaded guilty after the charges were read out before magistrate Mohammad Aizat Abdul Rahim yesterday. - Star

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