Penang jogger defies the Movement Control Order

Penang Jogger
Image adapted from: Sin Chew Daily

Malaysian authorities haven’t been kidding when urging everyone to stay at home during the Movement Control Order (MCO). As of today, thousands of people have been arrested and charged in court for defying the MCO, as cops are pretty much done with flimsy excuses. Heck, even Spider-Man couldn’t get away without a warning.

Well, if police warnings won’t stop you from leaving the house unnecessarily, perhaps a hefy fee of RM13,000 will. That’s exactly what happened to the infamous Penang doctor who was caught jogging outside on 19th March 2020.

Doctor had to pay bail of RM13,000

According to The Star, the doctor had run into authorities while on his daily jog. He then refused to comply with police officers’ requests to go home.

Penang Jogger MCO violator
Image adapted from: 我们是马来西亚人 We are Malaysians

Subsequently he was slapped with 2 charges: one for refusing to comply under Section 186 of the Penal Code, and another under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures within the Infected Local Areas) Regulations 2020. He would’ve had to either face going to jail for up to 2 years, and/or pay a fine of RM10,000.

He pleaded not guilty to both charges, having said that he – a cardiologist – needed to go running daily for his health. Sin Chew Daily reported that both the doctor and the police officers took videos of each other in the argument in attempts to “out” one another”.

It did not work to the doctor’s favour. On Monday (30 Mar) the doctor had to post bail for RM8,000 for the first charge, and an additional RM5,000 totaling up to RM13,000 in court. He also had to hand over his passport and now has to do monthly check-ins with the police at a local station.

Defying MCO not worth it

As of 3rd April 2020, Malaysia has recorded over 4,000 arrests of people who weren’t complying with the MCO. This includes 727 people in Selangor and 739 in Johor alone. The Star reported that nearly 1,500 have been charged in court, and that obviously includes this Penang doctor who had to pay a hefty price for non-compliance.

Stay home or get arrested
Image credit: Tan Chew Fatt

Between spending a couple of years in jail, paying fines that amount to RM10,000, and posting bails that are even more than the fine, it’s just easier to stay at home. After all, with signs that the “curve” is flattening, Malaysians will soon be able to jog as much as they want after the virus is under control.

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