Movement control order: Don’t apply double standards

Deserted streets during coronavirus lockdown - Photograph: wjboyz/Flickr

The government must show the general public that they are being fair when enforcing the rules, WH Cheng writes.

It was disappointing to see the way the government handled and applied the movement control order in this country.

Recently, there were reports, both formal and informal, indicating that some ministers, deputy ministers, a menteri besar, executive council members, MPs or state assembly members were seen in official functions, with many attendees at these events, some of which had food and drinks also served.

So how many sets of rules does the movement control order have? One for the normal people with harsh punishments for offenders – while the other exempts VVIPs happily enjoying their events?

If that is so, the government has not been fair towards the people. Heavy jail terms for offenders from ordinary backgrounds while those in high positions seem exempted even though their actions were clearly seen as breaking the rules set in the movement control order?

Why didn’t those in government instruct the relevant authorities to act against those VVIPs, instead of letting it be, until angry and dissatisfied citizens brought this up to the press and over social media? Are those VVIPs going to be arrested and hauled to court like all those ordinary offenders?

The government must show the general public that they are being fair when enforcing such rules. If these VVIPs are going to be let off with just a stern warning, many will find it hard to accept.

Or else, all those ordinary offenders should be released, if the government chooses to be lenient to all those VVIPs.

If you can publish in the press the actions taken against ordinary offenders, you must ensure that the actions taken against the VVIPs are also published in the press and made public knowledge.

We hope the leaders and other members of the government now understand why some ordinary people are flouting the movement control order. Perhaps they have noticed those VVIPs who flouted the order themselves, thereby giving the public the impression that the order could be loosened – if these Extremely Important Politicians could do that, then “why not us?” seems to be the attitude among some.

The government should only have one set of rules under the movement control order. Or else release all those ordinary offenders who have been hauled up.

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