Gym owner’s fine reduction plea rejected

Fadley Faisal

The High Court yesterday dismissed an appeal by Harun bin Haji Ahmad, 55, a gym owner to have his sentence of BND5,500 fine, or serve a month in prison in default of payment to be reduced citing his financial hardships caused by the closure of his business due to the pandemic.

Chief Justice Dato Seri Paduka Steven Chong said, “the defendant continued to operate his gym in contravention of the Ministry of Health’s (MoH) order issued on March 19, requiring all gyms and fitness centres to be closed.

“The direction serves to protect the public, (while) strict compliance is crucial for the direction to be effective, (and) every individual must be involved in the fight against the disease.”

“In defying the direction, (he) has put the community at risk of exposure to the disease, (and) it has to be strongly discouraged in the wider interest of public health and safety,” the Chief Justice concluded.

Deputy Public Prosecutors Siti Khalillah binti Haji Hussin and Siti Nurjauinah Haji Kula represented the Public Prosecutor as respondent.