Straight to court for MCO violators

PUTRAJAYA: Tomorrow, the third phase of the Movement Control Order (MCO) begins, and it will see those who violate the order arrested to face court action.

The focus is no longer on the compound as implemented during the first and second phases of the MCO. Instead, those arrested will be charged in court to face heavier penalties including imprisonment.

Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob pointed out that under Section 24 of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988, a court could mete out a maximum sentence of two years in jail, and five years imprisonment for a subsequent offence.

“They seem to be not too concerned when we issued compound notices (to MCO violators), and the number of people issued with the notices increases daily,” he told the MCO daily news conference today.

He said as of yesterday, the cumulative number of people who violated the MCO stood at 9,090 and the total compounds issued were 4,036.

Ismail Sabri said yesterday, 1,374 individuals were arrested for defying the MCO and of the total, 931 had been issued with RM1,000 compound while 418 were remanded and the remaining 25 released on police bail.

He also reminded the people that for those who would be charged in court, they might be remanded and would have to stay in jail for a day or two.

“Unlike now, they are issued with compounds then they go home and pay it within two weeks, and I think some people look at it as just another compound, like traffic summons,” he said, adding that there would be no more compromise for MCO offenders.

Asked on the increase in the number of vehicles on the road lately, Ismail Sabri said that he was informed by police that many people had gone out yesterday.

“More than usual, because I was told that many of them were going to the banks to withdraw the Bantuan Prihatin Nasional (BPN) cash aid given by the government,” he added.

He said despite the government advice for the people to check it online, many still opted to go out, particularly those from rural areas who did not use online services.

“Police agreed that the compliance rate has not reached the level targeted by the government … maybe some people have forgotten (MCO still in place) or perhaps (they) deliberately forget (and) still go out like usual,” he said.

On the public sanitation exercise, Ismail Sabri said yesterday, 174 operations were carried out in 70 zones in 12 states including 37 areas in Johor and 21 in Terengganu which involved 141 government buildings, 63 public places, 61 business centres and 15 supermarkets.

He said a total of 1,701 sanitation exercises had been carried out in 97 zones including 26 red zones since March 30 which involved 1,2023 government buildings, 701 public places, 736 business centres and 139 supermarkets. – April 14, 2020, Bernama

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