Confusion Strikes Again – The Clueless Government & Police Can’t Decide How People Should Scan At Petrol Station

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Nov 10 2020
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There’s a good reason why the backdoor government of Muhyiddin is seen as incompetent and clueless. It’s one thing to be a traitor and conspired with crooks to steal a legitimately elected government via a political coup. It’s another thing to run the country into the ground with double standards, hypocrisy, comical flip-flopping, dubious annual budget, indecisive policies and whatnot.


As the regime took the easy way out by slapping a blanket lockdown on the entire Peninsular (except Perlis, Pahang and Kelantan) for 4 weeks from Nov 9 to Dec 6 regardless of the number of Coronavirus cases in each state, more confusion has been unleashed upon the already “confusing” CMCO (Conditional Movement Control Order).


The latest confusion involves the doubt over the need to register with the “MySejahtera” app for Covid-19 contact tracing at petrol station – should a motorist scan the QR code before pumping fuel? The answer is a very tricky one – depending on which authorities you spoke to or when the authorities made its decision. You know you hit the jackpot when the police suddenly slapped you with RM1,000 fines.

Pumping Petrol

In general, you have three methods to fill up your gas tank. First, you pay using debit or credit card at a self-service pump, a process entirely with a machine. Second, you pay from outside the store through a glass window, typically in a petrol station with small footprint. Third, you enter a store and pay at a payment counter, normally huge enough to have a food corner.


Petrol station with convenience store with facilities like toilets, ATM (automated teller machine), food and beverages is a no-brainer. When you enter the store, you must scan using the “MySejahtera” app or register manually on a logbook, not to mention taking your temperature. But when you choose the other options, common sense says you don’t have to register using the app.


Well, tell that to the Royal Malaysia Police. When a viral voice clip of a man claiming his father was fined RM1,000 for failing to register using the MySejahtera app before filling up at a fuel pump, despite wearing a face mask, the police was not impressed. According to China Press, police insisted that people who go to any petrol station must scan using the app – no matter what.

Criminal Investigation Department CID Deputy Director DCP Mior Faridalathrash Wahid

Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department (CID) deputy director DCP Mior Faridalathrash Wahid said even if you do not enter the petrol station’s convenience store, you must flash your phone to scan. Trying to argue like a genius, he said – “If the people do not register or scan, how will the police trace them if there are Covid-19 cases in the area?”


Mior justified that because gas stations are public area with heavy human traffic, it is mandatory for visitors to wear face masks, register for the purpose of contact tracing, have their temperature scanned and use hand sanitizer. Does this mean people who wanted to visit air pumps at a petrol station just to check and pump their vehicle’s tyres need to register?


Heck, it was so confusing that even the Ministry of Health’s Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre (CPRC) has two sets of answer – depending on when you ask them. On Oct 24th, the CPRC said registering the app for a “brief encounters” was not required. But after the police’s comment yesterday, CPRC made a U-turn and agreed that it’s mandatory to register – even at the isolated cashless payment pump.

Ismail Sabri Yaakob

However, less than 24 hours after the police’s policy, Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob rubbished its argument. Sabri, who is also the Defence Minister, said there is no need to scan with the MySejahtera app when fuelling up if you make a cashless payment at the pump. His reason is simple – people who made electronic payments at the fuel pump did not interact with any other person.


Similarly, those who want to make payment from outside the store through a pigeonhole glass window that separated the cashier and customer do not need to register with the app. Likewise, people who need to pump their tyre, or use automatic car wash is not required to scan with the MySejahtera app. Only if you enter the petrol station’s store should you scan or register.


Amusingly, even the Petrol Dealers Association of Malaysia (PDAM) seemed to be surprised with the police’s directive that unless people registered, they would be fined RM1,000. According to PDAM president Khairul Annuar Abdul Aziz, the QR code scanning and temperature screening only apply to patrons or individuals entering the shops, toilet or “surau (prayer room)”.

Scanning MySejahtera App at Petrol Station

It appears that the police, under Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin, does not agree with Defence Minister Ismail Sabri. Both top ministers are from different political parties of the same Perikatan Nasional coalition government. If both parties cannot make up their minds over a simple matter like this, can the people expect them to run a country efficiently?


From the beginning, the police should communicate with the relevant ministries to ensure a better understanding of SOPs (standard operating procedures), not to confuse and punish the people with its own half-baked interpretation of the SOPs. CID deputy director DCP Mior Faridalathrash, in his haste to win arguments, has successfully demonstrated the police’s idiocy and incompetency.


Did the Royal Malaysia Police not realise that using mobile phones is prohibited at petrol stations, especially at the highly flammable fuel pump? Was the police trying to see spectacular explosions at petrol stations by forcing people to use their phones at the fuel pump, or deliberately wanted to make life difficult for people by forcing them to walk all the way to the store just to register?

Petrol Station - Self-Service Payment with Credit Card

Perhaps the police wanted to spread the Covid-19 by forcing people to enter the petrol station’s store to scan and screen, a move that is riskier due to poor air circulation inside the premises. But even with the latest clarification from “Turtle Egg” Minister Ismail Sabri, which is supposed to supersede the police’s silly interpretation, ordinary folks might still get fined.


Exactly what can an average citizen do when approached by plainclothes police officers who insisted he or she has committed an offence at petrol stations for not registering with the “MySejahtera” app? Even if you argue that Minister Sabri had clarified the matter, it would be the thuggish police’s words against yours. The problem is – different authorities interpret the SOPs according to their pleasure.


Actually, the issue of when to register at a petrol station is not the only confusion created by the clueless and incompetent backdoor government. It was only last month that the police announced that wearing a face mask at a petrol station is not necessary as long as we are able to maintain physical distancing. Can the police or the turtle egg minister clarify whether this is still true?

Scanning and Registering MySejahtera at Petrol Station - Police Car

At the current rate of compound issuance and efficiency of police in ambushing poor people for breaching the Health Ministry’s SOPs, it’s highly suspicious that they are being given a certain “quota” to hit – even rewarded with commission-basis to issue fines of RM1,000. Since March lockdown until today, the government would have collected tens of millions of Ringgit from fines alone.


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