Concerns over more people flouting MCO

KUALA LUMPUR, 9 April 2020:

Today is the 23rd day of the Movement Control Order (MCO) imposed to curb the spread of Covid-19, with six more days left to go – but what is worrying is that the number of non-compliance cases continue to grow.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah himself voiced his worry over this at the daily press conference yesterday, saying people are still conducting activities which violate the MCO, like visiting relatives.

In fact, he said, the number of vehicles on the roads has even been increasing.

Meanwhile, Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob revealed that as of yesterday, the number of people who went against the MCO increased by 13% to 454 on Tuesday compared 403 on Monday.

The number of areas throughout the country categorised as Covid-19 red zones also increased to 23 after Sepang in Selangor and Kota Samarahan, Sarawak recorded more than 41 cases on Tuesday.

To date, the Enhanced Movement Control Order has been imposed on several locations – Simpang Renggam (Johor), Hulu Langat (Selangor) and three buildings in Kuala Lumpur – Menara City One, Selangor Mansion and Malayan Mansion.

As of yesterday, the highest number of positive Covid-19 cases were recorded in Selangor (1,078), Kuala Lumpur (685) and Johor (496).

Looking at the current situation, there is a possibility the MCO – which is scheduled to end on Tuesday – may instead be extended.

Beginning yesterday, the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) have started to slap compounds of up to RM1,000 on people who violate the MCO.

Meanwhile, as of yesterday 166 patients have been confirmed cured, while 156 new cases were recorded, bringing the total number of positive Covid-19 cases in Malaysia to 4,119, with 65 deaths.

The responsibility is now on the people to obey the MCO in order to break the chain of COVID-19 infections in the country.

A total of 53 individuals including two sets of party-goers in Kajang and Ipoh respectively, were charged in courts yesterday for defying the MCO imposed by the government to contain Covid-19.

All 53 were charged under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures within the Infected Local Areas) Regulations 2020 which provides for a maximum penalty of six months in jail or a fine of up to RM1,000 or both. Additional charges under other laws were also brought against some of the accused.

The first set of party-goers comprised 17 adults and two 17-year-old girls who were charged in the Kajang magistrates court for gathering together in a condominium unit at Kondominium Amerin in Taming Jaya, Kajang on April 3 at 12.35pm.

Deputy public prosecutor Norhana Sahat said the 19 individuals had gathered together to have drinks, and as such, did not have a valid justification for breaching the MCO.

Magistrate Muhammad Noor Firdaus Rosli sentenced the adults aged 23 to 31 years, to 14 days in jail, with effect from the date of their arrest, while the teenagers who pleaded guilty, will be sentenced after the court receives their social reports from the Social Welfare Department on May 14. In the meantime, they were released on bail of RM500 each.

The second set of revellers comprised 15 individuals including a frontliner at a hospital in Kuala Lumpur, all of whom pleaded guilty in the Ipoh magistrates court to participating in a social gathering at a house on Jalan Casa Lapangan 2, Taman Casa Lapangan on April 5 at 2.50am.

Aged 19 to 38 years, they were each fined RM1,000 or face three months in jail upon default. The 15 comprised nine men and six women including four Indonesian women.

Also in the Kajang magistrates court, a group of six men aged 34 to 48 years were sentenced to 14 days in jail for defying the MCO by having an alcohol drinking session in a public place located on Jalan Taming Sari 1 on April 2 at 11.30pm.

For the charge of consuming alcohol at a public place, they were sentenced to 14 days in jail under the Minor Offences Act 1955. Magistrate Muhammad Noor Firdaus ordered both sentences to run concurrently from the date of arrest.

Among the other cases yesterday was that of Azizul Mohd Khairi, 46, the owner of business premises selling top-up cards which is not an essential service in line with the provisions of the MCO. He was fined RM700 (or faces one month in jail, in default) by the Kuala Lumpur magistrates court for continuing to operate his shop in Cheras during the imposition of the MCO.

Azizul was fined an additional RM1,000 (or faces one month in jail, in default) for obstructing a civil servant in the course of conducting his duties. The offences were committed on April 1 at 10.30pm.

– Bernama