KUALA LUMPUR: Lately, cases of celebrities violating Covid-19 standard modus operandi have become quite prevalent and the public is looking for appropriate punishment for offenders.
But is a fine alone enough to teach offenders and deter others from doing the same?
Lawyer Adi Zulkarnain Zulkafli believed that if a lenient sentence was imposed, it would have a negative impact or negative perception on the legal system.
“It is right that an appropriate punishment, proportionate to the offense, be imposed to assure the public that no special treatment is given to celebrities,” he told Bernama.
“The Instafamous and the celebrities of this country can be considered public figures. Their behavior as well as their personality influences their followers or fans.
“Therefore, a heavier penalty should be imposed on them to convey the message that there is no ‘double standard’.
“By inflicting more severe punishment, it will make the public think twice about violating the SOPs,” he added.
Adi Zulkarnain also said that a punishment was meant to serve as a lesson for offenders so that they do not repeat their mistake.
On April 20, Iram Naz Hafiz Sabir Muhammed and her husband Azharique Shah Abdul Jalil were sentenced to one day in prison and fined RM 2,500 each by the court of first instance for giving false information to the police for a interstate travel.
Celebrity Neelofa, whose full name is Noor Neelofa Mohd Noor, was fined RM20,000 for violating SOPs during her wedding ceremony and also for interstate travel while her husband, Muhammad Haris Mohd Ismail, was sentenced to RM 10,000 for also violating interstate travel. .
On May 4, a celebrity was fined RM 1,500 for not wearing a face mask in a video of Raya that was posted to social media.
Another lawyer, Siti Nor Syahidah Ismail, also shared Adi Zulkarnain’s point of view, saying tougher penalties should be imposed on celebrities because their action could prompt their followers or fans to do the same.
“Sometimes the public sees the Instafamous as VVIPs, people who can escape punishment despite their actions.
“Remember that no one is above the law,” she added. – Bernama