KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 14 — Minister Khairy Jamaluddin today called on the police to also penalise “very important and powerful people” who flout the mandatory face mask-wearing rule when in public spaces.

The science, technology and innovation minister also said that in imposing a fine on violators, the amount must be enough to act as a deterrent, ensuring that the public takes wearing masks seriously.

“What is important to the government is of course public health in this instance, and we need to set a level that is enough of a deterrent for people to remember to put on their masks. If it’s too small, you know some people may not take it seriously.

“But I think the more important political issue is the notion of selective prosecution on the standard operating procedure (SOPs). So I hope my political colleague on both sides will adhere to the SOPs,” he told reporters here.

“I hope the police, even if they see pictures of very important and powerful people flouting the SOPs, should take action. Hisham was fined for vaping in Parliament, then there are those having all sorts of political events and those not wearing the masks should be fined,” Khairy added, referring to fellow minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

He was speaking to the press after visiting and distributing meals to the homeless and urban poor in Chow Kit earlier.

Khairy was asked to respond to the public outcry over the seeming bias in law enforcement towards the elites, namely government officials.

This especially on the mandatory face mask wearing regulation which penalises defaulters with a RM1,000 fine, and following a recent video which showed a teenage boy breaking down in tears after he was hit with a fine at a train station.

Social media users, who were incensed, were quick to question as to how several government leaders were not treated equally, when they too had broken the law.