I erred, I’ll pay the compound

Awang Tengah speaking to the press during the media conference. Photo: Mohd Alif Noni

KUCHING: Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said he will settle the compound issued by the authorities for violating the standard operating procedure (SOP) during a function in Matu recently.

“In these few days, a video of my visit to Matu has gone viral. The police have contacted me about it.

“They said I am issued a compound. I own up to my mistake and I will pay the compound amount,” he said during a function at Wisma Sumber Alam today.

Awang Tengah said he had unwittingly forgotten to wear his face mask as he was rushing to get back to the airport after his visit.

In a video shared on social media recently, the deputy chief minister appeared to be not wearing his face mask while distributing cash to hawkers at one of his functions.

“At the time, I was brought to visit the hawkers’ booths which were specially set up in conjunction with my visit to (Matu) as it only operated on the weekends.

“I went to buy some foods and later I sat down to have a drink and some food which prompted me to take off my mask.

“It was my mistake as I had rushed when my officer informed me that we have to leave the function (to make it to the airport),” he said.

On the cash handout to the hawkers, which raised concerns among netizens, the deputy chief minister said it was simply to pay for the food bought from the hawkers.

“I needed to leave quickly and I forgot my face mask. I gave the money to the hawkers and ask that they pack the foods which would then be collected by my officers,” he explained.