Minister: Number of MCO arrests down further 11pc

Army and police personnel conducting roadblock checks during the movement control order (MCO) in Shah Alam April 5, 2020. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Army and police personnel conducting roadblock checks during the movement control order (MCO) in Shah Alam April 5, 2020. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 5 — The number of individuals arrested for breaching the rules under the movement control order (MCO) decreased by a further 11 per cent yesterday, said Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

According to Ismail Sabri, only 398 individuals were detained by the authorities on April 4 compared to 413 individuals on April 3.

“Yesterday 745 roadblocks were conducted with 331,839 vehicles searched as we entered the fifth day of the expanded MCO.

“I want to say that there is a clear decrease in terms of arrests made and as I said yesterday, I hope this trend will continue. This gives the impression that the MCO compliance rate is increasing,” he told a press conference today.

The authorities also conducted 25,554 spot checks at 4,399 premises nationwide yesterday.

A total of 309 individuals was also remanded and 59 of them bailed.

So far, over 3,000 arrests were made and over 1,000 have been charged in court for flouting the MCO that started on March 18.

Despite the latest figures, Ismail Sabri said many were seen flouting the orders issued by the government as those nabbed included those who obstructed authorities from performing their duties.

“Apart from flouting the MCO, some have been charged under the Penal Code which carries a more severe punishment such as jail terms.

“Therefore I am pleading to those who were detained to render their cooperation to the authorities. Do not try to obstruct them from their duties,” he said, adding that the police were now using ‘force’ to impose order for the sake of everyone and the nation’s safety.

He also reminded the public that the authorities were also prone to respond as human beings when agitated and defended the police in administering their duties during the MCO.

This follows calls for officers to be investigated for allegedly using ‘excessive’ force against those who flout the MCO.

“Those of us who remain at home the whole day may also feel burdened by our thoughts. So I cannot imagine the feelings of those officers who have to brave the weather to conduct roadblocks for the sake of our lives. So I believe some of them will retaliate.

“Therefore we must be considerate. That is why I said please cooperate with the police in administering their duties,” he said.

He said any disciplinary action to be taken against police officers will be handled by PDRM and the Home Ministry.

The MCO was extended from April 1 to April 14 with stricter enforcement from authorities and the government in the second phase.

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