BATU GAJAH, April 20 — There was no element of unfair treatment against six students of the Perak Matriculation College in Gopeng who were compounded RM1,500 each by the Ministry of Health (MOH) for not wearing face masks yesterday.
Perak Health, Science, Environment and Green Technology Committee chairman Mohd Akmal Kamarudin said the MOH officers issuing the compound were only carrying out their duties to ensure standard operating procedures (SOPs) were complied with to check the spread of Covid-19.
He said the students could still make an appeal to reduce the compounds and the state government was confident the students would be able to settle them.
‘’I am confident the compounds will be reduced to the minimum and affordable to the students. God willing, I can also help to resolve it if they cannot afford to pay the compounds,’’ he said.
Mohd Akmal was speaking to reporters after launching a state-level food safety operation in conjunction with Ramadan at the Dataran Taman Orkid Ramadan Bazaar today.
He was asked to comment on the incident which went viral on social media and received various criticism from netizens who questioned the action of the MOH as the students had been staying at the college for the past five months and not allowed to go out.
The MOH personnel were said to have issued compounds of RM1,500 each to several students who did not wear face masks or placed them under their chins.
In the meantime, Mohd Akmal urged all parties to respect the duties of the enforcement agencies who have been working tirelessly since last year to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.
‘’I urge all quarters to stay calm. This matter can be solved especially now in the month of Ramadan. View MOH in a positive light as it is working hard so that we can return to a normal life,’’ he said.
Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, through his Twitter account late last night, said the Perak Health Department was investigating the matter, adding that appropriate action would be taken.