Malaysia floats face mask rule, hints jail time and fines for violators

Prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin (middle) and Health Director-General Noor Hisham at a meeting in July. Photo: Noor Hisham Abdullah /Facebook
Prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin (middle) and Health Director-General Noor Hisham at a meeting in July. Photo: Noor Hisham Abdullah /Facebook

Malaysia’s Health Ministry continues to mull over making face masks compulsory in the country, floating the idea of imposing jail time and fines for violators. 

Health Director-General Noor Hisham Abdullah told reporters yesterday that in the event face masks become mandatory, violators could go to jail or pay a RM1,000 fine (US$230) if caught without them in public. 

“Once we make wearing face masks mandatory under Act 342, we will have to consider whether to give a fine of RM1,000, or to give jail time for those who flout the law,” he said. 

In the meantime, he urged Malaysians to don the mask when they go out. 

“The government encourages the use of face masks, especially in public places, where safe distancing is difficult to enforce,” he said. “Wearing face masks has proven to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infections by 65%.”

“Safe distancing, and wearing a mask are two ways to reduce the spread of the virus,” he added. 

The Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act covers rules said to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

Malaysia has reported 8,815 COVID-19 cases since the outbreak started and the death toll stands at 123. 

Other stories to check out:

No more home quarantine for travelers returning to Malaysia starting Friday

Perak investigates woman who wore COVID-19 quarantine wristband at Ipoh cafe

200,000 daily commuters can expect to cross Malaysia-Singapore borders soon: Foreign Affairs Minister

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