Social media is abuzz over the disparity between the total compounds issued to a celebrity and her family for a wedding celebration which flouted Covid-19 SOPs and that handed down to a home-based burger seller for a similar breach.
Today, celebrity Noor Neelofa Mohd Noor, her husband and 20 family members were slapped with a total of RM60,000 in fines.
Malaysians took to social media to express their outrage over the “double standards”, comparing it to the case of the burger seller in Kota Bharu, Kelantan, who was issued a RM50,000 compound for operating beyond 10pm, in front of his house.
Facebook user Mohd Azmi Ahmad commented on the “double standards between a burger seller and artistes”, while another Choong Eu Jin posted: “What is RM60K to her, when compared to RM50K for the burger seller.”
Ghandi Isma wrote: “It seems selling burgers in front of your own house is worse than attending a function.”
Social media users sympathised with the burger seller with Eric Kew saying: “Unfortunately you are not a politician. If you are … no fine.”
Albert Lee, urged authorities to show compassion towards the burger seller, saying: “This guy is trying to make an honest living.”
Wee Hon Koo lamented how it was the poor and the marginalised who had to face the brunt of “unjust and unfair penalties”.
Meanwhile, coffee shop and night market operators have urged the government to be more compassionate towards those who are trying to earn a living.
Wong Teu Hoon, president of the Malaysia Singapore Coffee Shop Proprietors General Association said the enforcement team should issue warnings first.
“Please understand that being slapped with even a RM500 fine is a lot of money for a roadside peddler,” he told FMT.
Wong said there are so many traders suffering due to Covid-19 and are trying to make ends meet during the fasting month.
Malaysian Association of Malay Hawkers and Small Businessmen secretary-general Mohamed Zamri Mohammed urged local authorities to follow the ways of Kuala Lumpur City Hall in issuing compounds.
“City Hall issues three warnings before issuing a compound. This practice should be standardised nationwide,” he told FMT.
Zamri said business at Ramadan bazaars has dropped drastically as customers tighten their belts.
“Everyone is being cautious with their money. They tell us Covid-19 cases are going up and they want to keep some (money) for rainy days.”
Meanwhile, Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan said the law must be enforced fairly regardless of a person’s status.
Mohamad, commonly known as Tok Mat, urged authorities to be more compassionate towards those struggling to make ends meet.
“How will he (burger seller) pay the huge amount? It is a burden for the B40 group,” he said in a statement.