Can accused persons who are convicted of disobeying the Movement Control Order appeal for alternative punishment instead of imprisonment in the interest of justice?
CHIN CHEE WEI & ANOR V PP  1 LNS 319
- Chin Chee Wei and Chong Poh Wah (collectively, the “Accused”) were arrested and jointly charged for an offence under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures within Infected Local Areas) (No. 2) Regulations 2020 (“Said Regulations”).
- They offended regulation 3(1) of the Said Regulations by moving from one place to another within an infected local area for a purpose which is not provided in the Said Regulation.
- At the time of arrest, the Accused were found near a fishing pond and were on a motorcycle carrying fishing rods.
- On conviction, the charges carry a fine not exceeding RM1,000-00 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or both.
- The Accused pleaded guilty to the charge.
- They were found guilty, convicted and sentenced to a period of 3 months’ imprisonment.
- The High Court had exercised its power to recall the records of this case after the matter was drawn to its attention via media.
HIGH COURT DECISION – SENTENCE REVISED!
- The High Court held that whilst the sentence passed is correct, legal as it is in accordance with law and the proceeding has been regular, the High Court was however of the view that the sentence passed was harsh and severely excessive.
- This is after taking into consideration, the nature of the breach, the prevailing plea in mitigation advanced by the Accused as well as public interest that needs to be protected.
- With that, the High Court exercised its powers and amended the nature of the sentence from that of 3 months’ imprisonment to an alternative punishment in the form of a Compulsory Attendance Order, requiring the Accused to attend daily at Perak Compulsory Attendance Centre and to undertake compulsory work for a period of 3 months for 4 hours each day.