KUALA LUMPUR, May 6 — A woman who was imprisoned for eight days and fined RM1,000 for breaching the movement control order has compared her penalty to the RM800 fine that Datuk Nurulhidayah Ahmad Zahid and her husband received for a similar offence.
In a since-deleted Facebook post, the single mother said she was even sentenced initially to 30 days’ imprisonment, which was only reduced when she pleaded with the court.
“During the eight days’ jail, I was shattered for being unable to see my son and felt so embarrassed. I even had to borrow from my mom RM1k to settle the fine.
“Today I read Dato Zahid’s daughter just given RM800 for an even bigger offence that I did and no jail term given. Am I a second-class citizen in this country? Why this double standards? I need an explanation,” she wrote.
Yesterday, Magistrate Shah Wira Abdul Halim fined Nurulhidayah and her husband, Datuk Saiful Nizam Mohd Yusoff, RM800 each for the offence that is punishable by a fine of up to RM1,000, no more than six months’ imprisonment, or both.
Both pled guilty after they were charged under Regulation 3(1) of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act for travelling from Jalan Batu Nyaman Country Heights in Kajang, to the Environmental Department office located in Putrajaya on April 20.
The court proceedings were also inexplicably conducted behind closed doors.
The wildly differing sentences meted out to ordinary Malaysians and politicians for violating the MCO already drew public interest even before this particular case.
When Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali and Perak executive councillor Razman Zakaria were only fined RM1,000 for breaching the MCO, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob sought to explain this away by saying they were engaged in essential services.
The minister said they two only violated Health Ministry guidelines and did not travel without authorisation.
Coincidentally, yesterday, a university student was fined RM200 more than the Umno president’s daughter and son-in-law when he pleaded guilty to violating the same Regulation by going to a friend’s house to work on an assignment.
The same magistrate’s court in Selayang also fined two unemployed men RM1,000 each for leaving their homes to buy food at 9pm on April 9, beyond the 8pm curfew.