Senior minister: 7,479 individuals arrested to date for defying MCO, 207 IPs open over Covid-19 fake news

Kenneth Tee
Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob speaks during a press conference in Putrajaya April 10, 2020. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, April 10 — A total of 7,479 individuals have been arrested to date since the movement control order (MCO) enforced nationwide took effect on March 18, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said today.

He said 666 individuals were detained by the authorities yesterday with 392 of them issued with a RM1,000 fine for defying the MCO.

“As we enter the 10th day of the expanded MCO, 775 roadblocks were held nationwide yesterday with 508,605 vehicles searched, 38,854 spot checks done and 5,538 premises checked by the authorities.

“The compliance rate, as of April 9, is 97 per cent,” he told a press conference today.

An FRU personnel mans a roadblock on Jalan PJU 7/1 in Petaling Jaya April 10,2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

Taking the 7,479 overall arrests into account, this could also mean that an average of 311 arrests was made daily as Malaysia entered the 24th day of the MCO.

He said the police would be doubling the number of roadblocks and patrols nationwide, following the announcement made by the Road Transport Department to assist authorities and the Armed Forces in manning existing roadblocks.

Meanwhile, a total of 207 Investigation Papers (IP) have been opened by the police and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission in relation to the dissemination of Covid-19 fake news as of April 10.

Of the 207 IPs, 23 cases have been prosecuted in court.

“Ladies and gentlemen, even though the government has taken action against cases involving fake news, many are still irresponsibly involved in the dissemination of fake news,” he said.

This follows after a viral video apparently depicting a large number of Malaysians from Singapore storming the Sultan Iskandar Building (BSI) in Johor Baru were debunked by the Immigration Department today.

According to the department’s director-general Datuk Khairul Dzaimee Daud, the scene was actually a fire drill recorded at the BSI on December 18, 2019.

Ismail Sabri said the police have identified those who were involved and legal action will be taken against the perpetrators. 

“The police and the government viewed the matter seriously because it has caused worry among the populace especially Johoreans.

“Must I remind everybody that no one is exempted from the law. Those involved, regardless of their positions, will not be let off. 

“I am once again pleading with all of you, enough. Stop the spread of fake news because it does not help the government or the people in their fight against Covid-19,” he said.  

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