,DAP will offer free legal aid to anyone issued a RM10,000 fine over offences related to Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOP), said its secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.In announcing this today, the former finance minister also chided the government for not going through Parliament in enacting the new law amendment, which increased the compound amount from RM1,000."We will not just sit. We will fight this. To those who were fined for failing to scan MySejahtera... and for not wearing face masks while eating, I have said before that DAP will fight for those who were issued compounds."DAP will provide free legal services to them. And I want to praise Perak DAP for leading this effort. We will continue this at the national level," he said during his opening speech at the Perak DAP Convention in Ipoh this morning.The Bagan MP, who was representing the DAP central executive committee, launched the congress which saw Perak DAP holding its state-level party polls to elect its leadership for a new term.Since March 11, people who violated movement control order (MCO) restrictions faced stiffer penalties under emergency amendments to the legislation meant to curb the spread of Covid-19.The amendments to the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342) were gazetted pursuant to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s emergency powers under Article 150(3) of the Federal Constitution.Among others, the compound for offences under the Act was raised from RM1,000 to RM10,000 for individuals and RM50,000 for companies.According to Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador, the first day of enforcement saw 330 individuals issued RM10,000 compound notices each for allegedly flouting the SOP under the MCO.Hamid had also told the media that police officers issuing the compounds did not have the power to reduce the amount of the fine as their only duty is to issue the compound to the offender.However, those issued with the notices can appeal to reduce the amount later.On the new fine amount, Lim stressed this was why it is important for the laws to get through Dewan Rakyat before it gets implemented. Should such an amendment be tabled in Parliament, it would not have been passed, he claimed."This shows how important for a law to be debated and passed in Parliament, instead of (being passed) by the prime minister."Because if this was debated in Parliament, we would not have supported it. I believe even MPs from the government would not support such a humongous amount."(If you) fail to scan MySejahtera? RM10,000 (fine). Fail to wear a face mask? RM10,000. But when ministers fail to wear face masks, no action against them," he added.rrrrLim was referring to the absence of a Parliament sitting during the emergency, which saw the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government using its powers under the emergency to pass laws without debate by MPs.Earlier during the DAP convention, Perak DAP chairperson Nga Kor Ming announced that the state chapter had formed a legal aid team consisting of 11 lawyers to help those issued with the RM10,000 fine.Branding the new law as "cruel" (zalim), he said those who can't afford to pay the fine, and believe that they were unfairly issued the compound, are urged to visit the Perak DAP office."We want to turn oppression into an oasis of justice. Do not let the tyrants continue their tyranny. This is not the Malaysia we know," Nga added.DAP Perak seeking more seatsMeanwhile, in his speech, Nga told delegates that the state DAP is planning to seek more parliamentary and state seats to contest in the next general election.They are looking at increasing the number to at least eight parliamentary seats and 20 state seats.In the 2018 general election, DAP had contested in seven parliamentary seats and 18 state seats, alongside its allies in Pakatan Harapan. However, one of Harapan's component parties - Bersatu - had since exited the pact to form another coalition during a political coup last year."I would like to suggest that DAP be given the chance to contest in at least eight parliamentary seats and 20 state seats, so that we can reclaim the state and also Putrajaya. Because we have a track record which we can be proud of," said Nga, referring to the party's victories in previous elections."However, in respect to our partners, I am going to appeal to the Harapan presidential council for its blessing. This is so that we can help Harapan take back the federal administration," he added.
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