More People Have Been Arrested For Defying MCO Than There Are COVID-19 Patients In M'sia

Minister Ismail Sabri said that some of these are the ones who have been stubborn.

Cover image via Oh My Media & Sharul Hafiz Zam/New Straits Times

The Movement Control Order (MCO) has entered its second phase.

In the first phase, which lasted from 18 to 31 March, the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) made more arrests than there are COVID-19 patients.

According to Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, reasons for the arrests included people who defied the MCO, went against public safety orders, or obstructed the authorities from carrying out their duties, etc.

Sabri said that the number of people being arrested daily for defying the MCO has seen reduction with police making 562 arrests on Wednesday compared to 583 arrests on Tuesday, 31 March.

"If the trend is an indication of the public's response to the government's call to stay at home, then it is a good sign. This is something we have been looking forward to because it means the public now appears to be aware of the importance of following instructions to stay at home."

A woman being arrested after she shouted and called police personnel 'idiots' while they were manning an MCO roadblock along Persiaran Surian on Tuesday, 31 March.

Image via Oh My Media

So far, the number of people arrested stands at 4,189, compared to the cumulative total of 3,116 COVID-19 patients in the country

A total of 1,449 have been since been charged in court with a handful of them sentenced up to eight months in jail, he said during today's press conference on COVID-19 in Putrajaya.

"Of those who have been charged, some have been punished, and I'm not just talking about fines but jail sentences. These are the ones who have been stubborn," the Senior Minister added.

In Ipoh, a total of 26 individuals were fined RM1,000 each for defying the MCO.

Image via Sharul Hafiz Zam/New Straits Times

While noting the decline in daily arrest numbers, the Defence Minister said that the police will still carry out their duties

As this is now the second phase of the MCO, they are now empowered to take harsh action if necessary, compared to stern from before.

Remember to #JustStayAtHome. Watch the latest update on the COVID-19 situation:

Meanwhile, under a new rule, offenders are liable to a maximum fine of RM1,000 or imprisonment for a maximum of six months:

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