PUTRAJAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The daughter of Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and her husband have been fined RM800 (S$262) each by the Magistrate Court on Tuesday (May 5) for violating Malaysia's movement control order (MCO).
This follows a decision on Saturday (May 2) when the Attorney-General's Chambers directed police to charge Datuk Nurulhidayah Ahmad Zahid and Datuk Saiful Nizam Mohd Yusoff for flouting the restricted movement order put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
The duo pleaded guilty after the charges were read out separately before Magistrate Shah Wira Abdul Halim.
They admitted to moving from a house at Jalan Bayu Nyaman, Country Heights in Kajang, heading towards the Department of Environment (DOE) in Putrajaya at 9am on April 20.
The offence under Rule 3(1) of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures Within the Infected Local Areas) Regulations 2020 carries a maximum fine of RM1,000 or up to six months in jail or both, upon conviction.
Mr Shah Wira also ordered the couple to serve three months' in jail if they fail to pay the fine.
Ms Nurulhidayah had uploaded a picture on her Instagram of her meeting with two government ministers.
The caption accompanying the picture said after she "was done" with meeting the Religious Affairs Minister, she proceeded to meet Deputy Environment Minister Ahmad Masrizal Muhammad, whom she described as "a dear friend to our family" as he was her father’s former political aide.
Under the MCO, members of the public can only leave their homes for grocery runs, or to buy medicine or food. Some of the curbs have been eased since Monday.
Earlier on Tuesday, Deputy Public Prosecutor Nur Ashikin Mokhtar asked the court to mete out a heavy sentence of maximum fine and imprisonment on grounds that the offence took place during the third phase of MCO.
Phase 3 of MCO restricts travel outside of a 10km radius.
"Their reasoning that they were invited by the minister was no excuse for them breaking the MCO," she said.
Lawyer Ahmad Zaidi Zainal, who represented the two, however, asked for the court to impose a bond on his clients instead as a warning.
"If the court wishes not to impose a bond, we ask for a fine because my client attended the meeting with the deputy minister of the Environment and Water Ministry by the latter's invitation to discuss celebration for Earth Day," he said.
The lawyer produced the letter - dated April 17 - to the court, which bore the head letter of the ministry and addressed to Ms Nurulhidayah.
The magistrate then handed over the sentence.