Face masks not mandatory, people shouldn’t be arrested for not wearing one, says Ismail Sabri

Foreign workers queue up to be tested for Covid-19 at Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur April 16, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Foreign workers queue up to be tested for Covid-19 at Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur April 16, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, April 17 — Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has reminded the authorities not to be overzealous when enforcing the movement control order (MCO).

Speaking at his daily press briefing, Ismail Sabri, who is also the defence minister, was told by the media that there were reports of the police detaining individuals who were not wearing face masks in public. He was also asked to confirm whether face masks are now mandatory.

“The director-general of Health (Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah) has said in nearly all his press conferences that only those who are (Covid-19) symptomatic should wear face masks. For those who are asymptomatic, it is optional.

“So, we can’t be enforcing this law against anyone who is not wearing a face mask and detain or arrest them and such. This is the same scenario when a shopping centre security guard stopped an individual from entering the premises to purchase food because he was not wearing a face mask.

“This goes beyond the law and the Act. This goes beyond what is needed and what is necessary. It is not an offence if you are not wearing the face mask,” stressed Ismail Sabri.

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