IGP: 110 arrested for defying MCO so far

Malaysian Armed Forces and police personnel man a roadblock on Jalan Ampang March 24, 2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Malaysian Armed Forces and police personnel man a roadblock on Jalan Ampang March 24, 2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, March 25 — As Malaysia entered day eight of the two-week long movement control order, police today revealed that at least 110 people have been arrested for defying the order.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador said that despite him previously saying that police would still take a soft approach, those flouting the order will face action.

“I have been given the green light to increase the compliance rate, and I will say that I have started to arrest people, if I am not mistaken there are around 110 people already arrested over the last seven days,” he said during an interview on RTM’s Selamat Pagi Malaysia this morning. 

“A majority of these cases are of them obstructing a public officer from discharging their duties,” he explained. 

Abdul Hamid then gave a stern warning to those still looking to defy the control order that action will be taken against them. 

“For those who think they are invincible or cannot be affected by this disease, of they just want to portray themselves as a gangster or thug hanging around in public places. 

“Don’t be surprised when you are arrested, handcuffed, and then brought to the police lockup, because it has been done; don’t be surprised or get upset if you ending staying in the lockup for three to four nights,” he said. 

To date Abdul Hamid said the nationwide compliance rate of the movement control order hovered around 92 per cent, saying he believed more Malaysians have come to realise the severity of the current Covid-19 outbreak. 

He noted this as a significant improvement from the first few days of the shutdown, where compliance levels nationwide was only around 60 per cent. 

“The data is obtained from those on the ground, where according to our records and after taking into account the movement of vehicles, we can say that we are now at a 92 per cent compliance rate,” he said.

The head of the police also noted that around 1,295 roadblocks are being conducted on a daily nationwide 24-hours a day, with a strength of around 42,000 policemen and 6,000 from the Malaysian Armed Forces. 

He said as of yesterday, around 234,000 cars were checked during roadblocks and spot checks held around the country. 

When asked if police are prepared for a potential extension of the shutdown, or a likely exodus of people returning from their hometowns at the end of the movement control order, Abdul Hamid said his men were ready for either outcome. 

“As for police, we are ready to be on duty to enforce the movement control order, either at a normal level of enforcement or even if it is extended. 

“We are ready in terms of manpower, with at least 18,000 officers in reserve on top of the 42,000 already in the field, so it depends on the health ministry, but if the need arises, we are ready,” he said. 

This as Malaysia enters the eighth day of a two-week long movement control order to contain and break the chain of infection of the Covid-19 virus. 

The latest numbers locally show 17 deaths from the virus, with 1,624 positive Covid-19 cases, and 183 who have recovered so far.

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