On the deployment of Armed Forces personnel, Ismail Sabri said it was done in accordance with the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 and was not aimed at taking extreme action or claiming a state of emergency.

“Too many rumours and false news were circulated when the government announced that the Armed Forces will help the police. As if armoured vehicles would be used at roadblocks. It sounds funny, but this is what was circulated to scare the people.

“The Armed Forces personnel will only help the police in advising the public to adhere to the government’s directives. What is being done is something related to the prevention and control of infectious disease under the Ministry of Health, not something related to emergency law or the National Security Council.

“Yes, there is a punishment of two-year imprisonment but, as of today, the implementation of the movement control order is still at the advocacy level. It may change to a more stern action if the level of compliance is still low,” he said.

Ismail Sabri again stressed that the Armed Forces were just helping the police and not taking over their job, let alone in making arrests.