KUALA LUMPUR: Police will no longer compromise with those who disobey or violate the Movement Control Order (MCO), Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said today.
The Senior Minister said that as of yesterday, a total of 7,759 individuals had been arrested for violating the MCO since it was first implemented on March 18.
Although the rate of compliance remains at 97 per cent nationwide, Ismail said there are still those who defy the order and on Friday, 1,095 people were nabbed by the police.
“Yesterday, the police and the military conducted 779 roadblocks nationwide and checked 490,249 vehicles. 815 people were fined, 242 remanded and 38 released on police bail.
“373 people have been charged in the courts. Police have also decided to take a more firm and stern action and there will be no more compromise.
“We saw yesterday that there were more arrests made, which means the police have begun taking strict actions against MCO violators,” he told a press conference which was carried live on local television stations.
According to Ismail, those arrested will be charged under Section 24 of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342) which carries a two-year jail sentence or a fine or both; while a second offence under the same Act will result in the violator being sent to jail for five years.
Ismail added that he was also recently informed that there are individuals who refuse to cooperate with the Health Ministry, including those isolated at quarantine centres.
On this, Ismail said the government is deciding to take action under Section 186 of the Penal Code for obstructing civil servants from performing their duties, and perpetrators could be imprisoned for not more than two years or fined RM10,000, or both.
“When I say civil servants, (I do not mean just) police officers, but all civil servants who are involved in our operation to break the chain of the Covid-19 virus. (This) includes doctors and nurses,” he explained.
Ismail said since April 9, 156 quarantine centres were operational nationwide, accommodating 11,445 people who are undergoing the compulsory 14-day quarantine period.
On public sanitisation operations, Sabri said he is aware that several quarters are questioning the government’s practice, and pointed out that they were carried out in accordance with the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) guidelines.
He said according to the Health Ministry, the public sanitisation operations can help reduce the spread of the deadly virus.
Since March 30, he said 1,291 sanitation operations have been conducted at 85 zones – 24 operations in red zones and 61 in yellow zones.
“Among the places that have been sanitised are 884 government buildings, 565 public spaces, 528 business centres and 107 supermarkets.
“On Friday alone, 166 operations were conducted involving 60 zones in 12 states, including 46 areas in Johor and 26 areas in Pahang,” he said.