Malaysia | Emergency (Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases) (Amendment) Ordinance 2021

The Emergency (Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases) (Amendment) Ordinance 2021[1] was passed on 15th February, 2021 and shall come into force on 11th March, 2021. The Amendment Ordinance amends the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (“PCIDA”) in the following manner –

Order for wearing a tracking device: The Ordinance provides that an authorised person may order any person who is infected or whom he has reason to believe to be infected, or any contact of that person, to wear a tracking device such as a wristband or any device provided by the authorised officer. It is an offence to destroy, damage, lose or tamper with the tracking device.

Directions of Director General: The Director General of Health may issue any general or specific directions to any person or group of persons to take measures for the purpose of preventing and controlling any infectious disease, contravention of any directions would constitute an offence.

Enforcement: The Amendment Ordinance introduces a new Part IVA which, inter alia, provides that:

  • Seizable Offence: every offence under the PCIDA shall be a seizable offence, i.e., an offence for which a person may be arrested by a police officer without a warrant of arrest;
  • Power to investigate: an authorised officer shall have all powers necessary to carry out an investigation under the PCIDA in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Code;
  • Power to furnish information: an authorised officer may require any person to furnish any information relating to the prevention and control of infectious disease; and
  • Power to arrest: an authorised officer , authorised by the Minster of Health in writing, may arrest any person whom he reasonably believes has committed or is attempting to commit an offence under this Act.

Offences by body corporate: A new section 22A has been inserted by the Amendment introducing corporate liability. When an offence is committed by a body corporate, a person who at the time of the commission of the offence was a director, chief executive officer, chief operating officer, manager, secretary or similar officer of the body corporate, or was purporting to act in any such capacity, or was in any manner or to any extent responsible for the management of the affairs of the body corporate or was assisting in such management, may be charged severally or jointly with the body corporate.

General penalty: The Amendment Ordinance substitutes the general penalty provision under PCIDA. The new provision provides that a person who commits an offence under the PCIDA for which no penalty is expressly provided shall upon conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding RM100,000 or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding seven years or to both.

Compounding of Offences: The Amendment Ordinance substitutes Section 25 of the Act by increasing the fines. The amount of fine payable to the Director General for compounding of offences will be increased from RM1,000 to a maximum of RM10,000 and RM50,000 for individuals and bodies corporate respectively.

*Tanvi Singh, Editorial Assistant has put this story together.

[1] pua_20210225_PUA 76.pdf (agc.gov.my) http://www.federalgazette.agc.gov.my/outputp/pua_20210225_PUA%2076.pdf

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