Part of the SOPs during the COVID-19 season has been the imposition of face masks, particularly in areas where it is difficult to maintain a social distance of 1m with others. The penalties are severe, too, with a cafe owner in Johor being hit with a RM1,000 compound for allegedly flouting face mask rules back in January 2021.
Nur Izzati Aqilah Lokman Hakim, who shared the issue over Twitter, explained that she received the compound when getting out of her car without a face mask—despite there being no one in her close vicinity. She argued that she was simply heading to the other side of the car to pick up her child, and that shops nearby were all still closed, and that the area was “not crowded”.
Her Tweet went viral, and Nur Izzati even sourced CCTV footage of the incident as part of her defense against the compound. However, Johor police argued that there were still people coming and going into shops nearby, saying that there were workers in the area, too. The angle of the CCTV might also not have captured the entire vicinity of the area, too, which complicates matters.
However, the Malaysian woman has now tweeted that the RM1,000 compound has been cancelled after receiving a call from the Ministry of Health in Putrajaya. She did not provide the details of the call, or the reasoning behind the u-turn, but suffice to say, the power of social media in spreading the news might have had a part to play.
Regardless, it’s important to remember that we’re all in this together. The use of face masks isn’t only to protect yourself or your loved ones; rather, it’s important to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to vulnerable members of society, including the elderly and the immunocompromised.
The latest numbers, as of yesterday (3/9/2021), are made up of the fewest daily cases recorded in 2021 at 1,529 new cases yesterday. There were eight new deaths reported, and the overall death toll now stands at 1,177. There have also been 2,076 new recoveries reported by the Ministry of Health.