Minister: Arrests exceed 4,000 since start of MCO as violators face stiff penalties

Jerry Choong
Yesterday saw 687 roadblocks conducted nationwide, with police examinations on 380,342 vehicles. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, April 2 — Over 4,000 people have been arrested by the police thus far during the ongoing movement control order (MCO) with nearly 1,500 charged in court, said Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

He said out of the 4,189 arrests and 1,449 charges in court, a handful have since been sentenced to both fines and imprisonment, with some sentenced up to eight months in jail.

“They were sentenced not merely for violating the MCO, but for going against the police or obstructing the authorities from carrying out their duties,” Ismail Sabri said during a press conference.

Yesterday saw 687 roadblocks conducted nationwide, with police examinations on 380,342 vehicles. 3,791 premises were also examined, and 23,256 surprise spot checks done.

“Although there has been a decline in arrests, the police will still carry out their duties. As this is now the second phase of the MCO, they are now empowered to take harsh action if necessary, compared to stern from before,” he said.

Separately, the minister said the Housing and Local Government Ministry has since identified 348 areas where public sanitation efforts will be conducted.

“Yesterday, 93 areas were decontaminated, and the number of decontaminated areas since work began on March 27 is 252 areas.

“Today alone 46 areas in eight states have been decontaminated. On the Health Ministry’s advice, standard operating procedures for public sanitation efforts have been developed to guide all those involved,” he said, adding the SOPs were formulated following several public complaints on how decontamination was being done.

Ismail said every district has its own disaster management committee, chaired by the respective district officers. The committee in turn will oversee and manage all efforts concerning Covid-19 within the area.

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