Special law on social distancing is needed

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Some shoppers practicing social distancing while purchasing essential items at a market in Kuala Lumpur following the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO). PIX: FAREEZ FADZIL / MalaysiaGazette / 03 MAY 2020
Some shoppers practicing social distancing while purchasing essential items at a market in Kuala Lumpur following the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO). PIX: FAREEZ FADZIL / MalaysiaGazette / 03 MAY 2020

By Norlaile Abd Rahman

KUALA LUMPUR – The government needs to consider creating a special act on social distancing to curb the spread of Covid-19.

According to the Senior Lecturer from the Faculty of Syariah and Law of Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM), Dr. Muzaffar Syah Mallow, the government cannot merely depend on the public to do voluntary social distancing without any form of governing law.

“Special providence of the law on this can be enforced for the meantime until the vaccine for Covid-19 is available.

“This is to ensure that the process of social distancing in the country can be done more effectively and punishment can be imposed on individuals who fail to observe social distancing,” he said.

Muzaffar added, although there are several providence of the law such as the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 [Act 342], Penal Code (Act 574) and others, they are not enough to ensure that the public follow the recommendations of social distancing.

The existing law does not clearly line out matters pertaining the social distancing process.

Through a special providence of the law on social distancing, the government can plan something more detailed, such as the meaning of social distancing itself, the exact or correct number in social distancing in all areas of workplace and businesses.

This include restaurant, shopping mall, petrol station, bank, post office, school, university and public transport. -MalaysiaGazette

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