Ismail Sabri: Workers can still commute under CMCO, but employers advised to allow work from home

A traffic policeman conducts checks on vehicles during a roadblock on Jalan Sultan Ismail in Kuala Lumpur October 14, 2020. Employees are currently allowed to move about for work purposes and to go to their offices under the conditional movement control order (CMCO), said senior minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob today. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
A traffic policeman conducts checks on vehicles during a roadblock on Jalan Sultan Ismail in Kuala Lumpur October 14, 2020. Employees are currently allowed to move about for work purposes and to go to their offices under the conditional movement control order (CMCO), said senior minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob today. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 18 — Employees are currently allowed to move about for work purposes and to go to their offices under the conditional movement control order (CMCO), senior minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob reaffirmed today.

At the same time, Ismail Sabri however said employers are still encouraged to allow their staff to work from home.

Ismail Sabri said this while responding to a question on what was his advice regarding the emergence of new Covid-19 clusters involving infections spread at the workplace, with the question alleging that such clusters indicate that there are still employers who allegedly still did not want to allow workers to work from home despite the CMCO.

Ismail Sabri said that he would raise this issue up to the National Security Council’s special meeting to be discussed.

“My advice, in CMCO areas, for now, we still allow workers’ movement to work at the office or in economic sectors, but as I mentioned, we ask for employers to allow workers to work from home.

“I will bring this to the NSC special meeting chaired by the prime minister each day, for us to bring this to the meeting so that the meeting can decide whether or what is the next step for workers who continue to work at the office or company, whether they can continue to work or not, it will be determined, but I leave it to discussions in the National Security Council meeting.

“But whatever decision is made, I ask for employers to allow workers to work from home, this is to ensure the safety of not only that worker, but other workers,” he added.

In the same press conference streamed live from his home, Ismail Sabri announced that the police yesterday arrested 661 individuals for failure to comply with the recovery movement control order (RMCO), also noting that yesterday was the 130th day of the RMCO.

Out of the 661 individuals arrested yesterday, Ismail Sabri said 632 were issued compounds or fined, while 27 were remanded and two were released on bail.

About a third of those arrested yesterday had failed to wear face masks at 223 individuals, with the rest arrested for failure to comply with physical distancing requirements (191), failure to provide equipment or to record personal details (112), breaching CMCO orders or conditions (75), activities at entertainment centres (45) and other offences (15).

“So I hope we don’t take the order or SOP to wear face masks lightly, although it looks as if a few individuals consider it to be minor, but the consequence is that the police will take action on you who breach the SOP by not wearing face masks.

“That’s why I hope that all of you will comply with all orders and SOPs issued, because if you fail to comply with the SOPs, you can be taken action against, the business premises can also be taken action against by the authorities, not just compounded, but may possibly be taken action against by having the business premises closed. So obey each SOP,” he said.

Ismail Sabri also stressed that the government can take action against any breach in offences regardless of the version of MCO imposed in any locations, citing as example that a business premise could also face action for not carrying out temperature screenings or recording details either manually or using the MySejahtera app.

“However, I believe many among Malaysians comply with the SOPs imposed by the government, but we see there are cases which I mentioned where the public still fails to follow the SOP issued.

“Therefore, I have repeatedly said this, there is no need for us to expose ourselves to being arrested by the authorities, because we are actually capable of controlling or ensuring our own interests without the authorities taking action against us,” he added.

Ismail Sabri also said that 72 undocumented migrants were arrested yesterday and 35 land vehicles seized yesterday as part of the government’s ongoing border control operations amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

As for returnees to Malaysia, a total of 50,254 individuals had returned from July 24 to October 17.

Out of this figure, 8,151 are currently undergoing mandatory quarantine, 381 were sent to hospital for treatment and 41,722 have been discharged and allowed to return home, he said.

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