KUALA LUMPUR, Apr 19 — Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said today automated teller machines (ATM) will no longer be open for 24 hours.

He said this was necessary as many people were still going out late at night using the excuse that they need to get to the ATMs.

“We’ve been notified that due to these ATM machines being operational 24 hours, many are going out at night on the pretext of an emergency.

“These people are breaking the Movement Control Order (MCO) rules so the government has decided to only allow ATMs to operate from 8am to 8pm,” said Ismail at his daily Covid-19 briefing.

In rural areas, folks are calling on relevant quarters to look into the need of improving banking facilities in the district for easy financial access, especially during these hard times.

Some districts only have one bank branch, making it crowded as people flock to withdraw their funds in times of emergency.

Long queues were reported as many had to wait for their turn to use the ATMs.

The government had already said the banks must make sure the customers adhere to the social distancing rules.

“The police reported to us that a lot of people are still going out late at night on the pretext of withdrawing money and that it’s an emergency.

“That’s why today the committee decided to limit the time of usage for these ATMs. So no more excuses for being out late at night to withdraw money,” he added.