Top cop concedes that enforcers find MCO SOPs confusing

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Top cop concedes that enforcers find MCO SOPs confusing
Top cop concedes that enforcers find MCO SOPs confusing

A high-ranking police officer today conceded that enforcement personnel can at times have different interpretations of the movement control order (MCO) rules.

This resulted in the issuance of fines that were unwarranted, said Bukit Aman internal security and public order head Abd Rahim Jaafar in an interview with Mingguan Malaysia.

Rahim said there were difficulties in ensuring that enforcement personnel - involving 13 agencies - understood the rules the same way.

"We do not deny that sometimes, there are different interpretations... We are still in the process of educating our personnel on the (MCO) SOP.

"Even under normal circumstances, when we give instructions to a person, the next 10 persons might understand it differently.

"Now relaying that information to 100,000 people throughout the country - there will be problems.

"We need to fix this. In addition, the SOPs are constantly changing according to the development of the pandemic," he said.

Among others, Rahim said there are suggestions for district police chiefs to personally explain the rules to rank and file officers.

"Previously, there were a lot of (wrongly issued fines) but now it has been reduced," said Rahim.

He cited the example of how sometimes the reason for a fine would have been stated as the offender was loitering at 9pm. However, this is not an offence under the SOP.

"However, the rules state that one should not be out of their residence without a valid reason. Hence, the person who issued the fine might have thought it was an invalid reason.

"We need to normalise briefings and debriefs... We need to check the fines issued to make sure that it was issued in accordance with the SOP," he said.