It is the norm to wear a face mask in public but there is still confusion about the standard operating procedure on whether it’s required to have it on at all time, or if it’s fine to remove your mask when there is no one around?
On 15 December 2020, Minister of Defence Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that members of the public are not required to wear a face mask when the public area is not crowded.
Nur Izzati Aqilah Lokman Hakim from Segamat, Johor went on Twitter to complain about having been issued a compound for not wearing a face mask, claiming that she was in a non-crowded public place. She said,
“This morning, I went to my own café to prepare meals for my kids before sending my children to school. I was there before opening hours. I exited my car and went to get my youngest child from the passenger seat and they were no passersby around me.
“Suddenly, a patrol car stopped and the officer issued me a compound of RM1,000 for not wearing a face mask. I feel this is unfair because the place was not crowded and the shops next to my café were not even open yet,” she told News Straits Times.
Based on the SOP, Izzati confronted the police officer on why she was fined. She said she would lodge a report to the authorities over this matter.