FAKE NEWS: RM1000 Fine for Sitting Side by Side in A Car

Merely on the third day of this movement control order, a story has surfaced on Whatsapp about how a driver was allegedly fined RM1000 for allowing his friend to sit next to him in the car.

The message has since been shared among a number of Whatsapp users since yesterday, with it indicting more fear and confusion among those who are already in CMCO.

Here are the facts according to the SOPs released by the Malaysian National Security Council (MKN):

1) Two Persons per Household Are Allowed to Go Out Together

SOPs for all three areas – KL, Selangor and Putrajaya as one, Sabah and Labuan states that two individuals per household are permitted to go out together to purchase food and essentials.

2) Taxis and E-Hailing Vehicles Are Limited to 2 Passengers

Including the driver himself/herself, a total of 3 people are allowed in said vehicles and there is no issue with being side-by-side in the back seat.

3) The Passenger Doesn’t Have to Sit Behind the Driver

There isn’t really a reason for the police to issue such a fine when the SOP guidelines do not mention anything about forbidding two people sitting side-by-side in a vehicle.

So what actually happened?

Actual location of crime committed: Restoran Shada Maju

It was later revealed that the man was actually fined for not practicing social distancing in a restaurant, as pictures of the summon clearly shows the address of a Restoran Shada Maju located in 121, Jalan Tengku Badar, Port Klang, Selangor.

The message and picture of the fine that was shared among WhatsApp users

Current SOP guidelines dictate that social distancing must be practiced in public, which means at least 1 meter of space between individuals. If you are caught breaching the SOP, not only will you be fined RM1000, but everyone else sitting at the table will also be fined RM1000, which is exactly what this man experienced on the first day of CMCO.

Do remember to NEVER share FAKE NEWS that can easily be found on social media platforms without doing adequate research on the story before sharing it to others.

Standard operating procedure (SOP) guidelines from August 1st

As life slowly transitions to the recovery movement control order (RMCO), the list of guidelines is always being updated.

With the different kind settings having different guidelines, it is not a surprise that the public’s understanding of the guidelines can be shrouded in confusion.

We decided to help make things easier.

Here’s what we know that’s being updated to the SOP guidelines from August 1st onwards

Face masks are now mandatory in public spaces.

  • Those who do not comply with the new rule will face a fine of up to RM1,000 under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act

Public places where the use of face masks are required: 

  • Public transports: Bus, trains, LRT, taxis, e-hailing vehicles
  • Markets: Wet markets, wholesale markets, night markets and supermarkets
  • Cinemas
  • Tourist attraction spots 

You are NOT required to wear face masks when:

  • Doing physical activities: Sports such as jogging
  • In one’s own private vehicle
  • In one’s private home
  • At a place that has sufficient room for social distancing

Children under the age of two are not required to wear masks.

The Ministry of Health recommends that all organizations should take appropriate steps to ensure maximum protection of employees.

MOH also recommends social distancing guidelines as followed.

From August 14th onwards, the new maximum retail price of face masks is RM1 per unit.

It is important to acknowledge that this article will be updated according to any changes to the standard operating (SOP) guidelines.

– Restrictions on public activities under the recovery movement control order (RMCO) will be extended until the end of the year.

Action will still be taken under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 to make sure all parties comply with SOPs and heath protocols.

Public anger rises after Beirut blast as officials knew of the risks

While authorities continue searching for the cause of the Beirut explosion, all fingers are being pointed out to the chemical – Ammonia nitrate.

The question however, is to ask how did it got there in the first place, and why was it kept at a location that eventually caused the lives of nearly 400 people and homes of at least 300,000 more.

An unscheduled stop, a massive shipment of agricultural fertilizer, a bankrupt Russian business man and the ignoring of safety precautions for years are just part of the many factors that played to the catastrophic incident.

The MV Rhosus vessel

According to CNN, a shipment of 2,750 metric tons of ammonium nitrate arrived in Beirut in 2013 on a Russian owned vessel by the name of MV Rhosus. Due to financial difficulties, the vessel that was en-route to Mozambique, made an unprecedented stop at Beirut and never left. 

The substance was ultimately left untouched and unregulated for up to SIX years.

Owned by Russian businessman Igor Grechuskin, his crew was mostly Russians and Moldovans and it is still not immediately clear to why Grechuskin, who owned Teto Shipping was carrying such an alarming amount of ammonium nitrate.

Highlighting a bust up with the law, Grechuskin had allegedly not paid his crew, including the captain and had abandoned them for months, leaving them stuck on the vessel, according to the lawyers who fought for their release.

They said that the ship was a “floating bomb” and the crew became hostages on the “bomb”.

Neither Grechusin nor any members of his family have given any public comment about their alleged connection with the Beirut blast.

Warnings were sent out over the years of the dangers that the port of Beirut could face with such a cargo in its area, which include inspectors warning that the now seized material could “blow up all of Beirut”.

According to the current Director of Customs, Badri Daher, warnings of the cargo being equivalent to a floating bomb didn’t manage to change the situation.

“We requested that it be re-exported but that did not happen. We leave it to the experts and those concerned to determine why,” Daher said.

 “Due to the extreme danger posed by this stored items in unsuitable climate conditions, we reiterate our request to the Port Authorities to re-export the goods immediately to maintain the safety of the port and those working in it,” Chafic Merhi, former director general of the Lebanese Customs Administration wrote in a 2016 letter to a judge involved in the case.

On top of that, Lebanon’s general security chief also said that a “highly explosive material” was confiscated years earlier and kept in a warehouse not too far from Beirut’s shopping malls and nightlife spots. 

As there were disasters linked to the chemical in the past, strict and improved regulations have been put in place for its safe storage. Associate Professor Stewart Walker from Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia said in an interview with CCN that “such rules mean it tend to be kept away from population centers.

“Both of these things will be questioned in the investigation into the Beirut explosion, because they had such a large amount of ammonium nitrate, which may not have been stored appropriately, and in an area where there is a large number of people,” he added.

According to Andrea Sella, a professor at University College London, poorly stored ammonium nitrate is notorious for explosions — for example in Oppau, Germany; in Galveston Bay, Texas; and more recently at West in Waco, Texas; and Tianjin in China.

Compilation of Beirut Explosion; All You Need To Know

Compilation of videos and pictures of the explosion included

A massive explosion shook the Lebanon capital of Beirut and killed at least a hundred while leaving thousands more injured on Wednesday night.

The official numbers are saying that at least 100 have been killed and 4,000 more are wounded; however, Lebanese officials have warned that the total tally of deaths and wounded are expected to rise as the story continues to unfold.

Residents in Beirut were awaken to a national day of mourning on the morning after the incident while the country tries to deal with the aftermath of the explosion.

According to a CNN senior international correspondent, the blast felt like an earthquake, while one witness said she had never felt an explosion like it in the city.

What we know

  • According to a Lebanese security official, an estimated 2,700 tons was stored at the blast sight
  • The substance was confiscated from a cargo ship back in 2014 and stored improperly for in a warehouse for six years

All fingers point to ammonium nitrate causing the explosion but it’s still unsure what triggered the fire

A fire erupted causing a smaller than much larger explosion

  • Videos circled around social media that showed a wildfire raging around site, Beirut’s northern, industrial waterfront, little more than a mile away from the Grand Serail palace, where Lebanon’s prime minister is based.

It remains unclear to what other factors caused the eruption.

Aftermath of the explosion:

We here at Newswav would like to wish those involved to be safe, and our condolences go out to the families affected, we’ll keep you in our prayers.