Violation of Covid-19 SOPs: Local authorities have the power to close factories, says minister

Enforcement officers conduct SOP spot checks on a factory in Mak Mandin, Penang, June 23, 2021. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Enforcement officers conduct SOP spot checks on a factory in Mak Mandin, Penang, June 23, 2021. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

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MARAN, July 15 — The local authorities (PBTs) have the power to close down factories that violate the COVID-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs), said Housing and Local Government (KPKT) Minister Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin.

She said PBTs could enforce the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act (Act 342) together with the Local Government Act 1976 (Act 171).

“On June 29, the federal government delegated the power to local authorities to take action against any party, including individuals, companies and factories who do not comply with the SOPs and they (the parties) can be compounded through Act 342.

“Local authorities throughout the country can enforce it, so there is no issue of PBTs not being able to close factories because they can use Act 342 and supported by Act 171 which gives them the power to close (these places) and take court action (against them),” she said.

Zuraida said this at a press conference after attending the Community Vaccine Mobilisation (Movak) outreach programme in Kampung Serengkam and Kampung Orang Asli Merbau, here, today.

Also present at the event were Deputy Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Abd Muttalib and Deputy National Unity Minister Datuk Seri Ti Lian Ker.

Yesterday, Selangor Local Government and Public Transport Committee chairman Ng Sze Han reportedly said local authorities did not have the power to close down factories to curb the spread of Covid-19 because the power was under the federal government.

Meanwhile, Zuraida said the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation had allocated 225,000 doses of vaccine to the KPKT and the National Unity Ministry to provide vaccination for Orang Asli, Felda settlers, traditional villages, hawkers including residents of the People’s Housing Programme.

“For Sabah and Sarawak, the National Unity Ministry will go through the Rukun Tertangga Community where the residents’ chairman will make phone calls to residents to make sure they register and keep to the vaccination appointment,” she added.

On the Movak outreach programme in Maran, Zuraida said 1,000 residents in the area would be receiving the vaccine during the three-day programme which began yesterday. — Bernama

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