IT’S been 10 months since senior minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob gave his first daily briefing on the Covid-19.Is he showing signs of, if not suffering from, pandemic fatigue?Fatigue associated with adherence to Covid-19 restrictions – so-called “pandemic fatigue” – has been a recurrent theme throughout the year.In October, a Google search found some 200 million mentions of the term “pandemic fatigue”. By early this year, the figure is said to have risen to more than 240 million. It is a term that has entered the popular lexicon in 2020.But so have such terms like “covidiots”, a term to describe people who brazenly flout and defy Covid-10 restrictions. This is not suggesting that Ismail Sabri is one.But the statement during his latest daily briefing that the management of private residences like condominiums, apartments and gated and guarded housing areas can instruct residents to do a Covid-19 test should they feel the need to do so perhaps suggest that pandemic fatigue has crept into him.The statement is not supported by the law. The principal law that governs the rights and duties of management body/corporation and owner of units – and by extension, any charge, tenant, lessee and occupier – in those private residences is the Strata Management Act 2013 (Act 757).Act 757 provides for by-laws and additional by-law to govern those rights and duties.Sections 32(3) and 70(2) provide that additional by-laws may be made to regulate the control, management, administration, use and enjoyment of the units and common property including on safety and security measures.But the additional by-laws must be made by special resolution. This requires an extraordinary meeting of the management body/corporation and owners.Only then the additional by-laws shall bind both parties as if the by-laws “had been signed or sealed by the management body/corporation and each unit owner and each charge, lessee, tenant or occupier, respectively” and “contained mutual covenants to observe, comply and perform all the provisions” of the by-laws.Now, if Covid-10 test is a measure necessary to control the spread of the disease, then only an authorised person can direct “any person or class or category of persons living” in the residences to subject himself or themselves to such a test.This is stipulated in section 11(3) of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342), which is the principal law governing the pandemic.With the greatest of respect, the senior minister must stand corrected. – January 29, 2021.* Hafiz Hassan reads The Malaysian Insight. * This is the opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insight.
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