KUALA LUMPUR, April 15 — Malaysia’s top cop’s remarks yesterday that the movement control order (MCO) could possibly be extended to June is just his personal opinion, as the government’s decision whether to extend such an order would depend on the Health Ministry’s views, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said today.
Ismail Sabri was asked to comment on Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador’s remarks yesterday on a possible extension of the MCO to June if Malaysians remain stubborn in complying with the MCO.
“About the statement made by the inspector-general of police, that may be his view, but whatever it is, the decision whether to extend or not, it depends on the Health Ministry’s advice,” Ismail Sabri said during a press conference that was broadcast “live”.
In the same press conference, Ismail Sabri said Malaysians’ rate of compliance with the MCO still stands at 97 per cent, adding that he hopes the increase in vehicles on the roads in certain areas yesterday will not continue on.
“Because as I mentioned, the police are taking stern action and will not tolerate or compromise with anyone,” he said.
Malaysia’s first phase of MCO to curb the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak started on March 18 to March 31, but this was extended to April 14, and then further to April 28.
Noting that today is the start of the third phase of the MCO, Ismail Sabri, on behalf of the government, today thanked Malaysians for remaining patient and for supporting the government in the enforcement of MCO after a month of staying at home and pausing non-essential activities
“I represent the government in thanking Malaysians who comply with the MCO and we hope the roughly three per cent that have yet to comply and are still stubborn will comply with the MCO,” he said.
He also thanked all Covid-19 frontliners including nurses, doctors, hospital staff, the police, the Armed Forces, Civil Defence Force, Volunteer Corps, local authorities’ staff, the Fire and Rescue Department, the Malaysian Prison Department, as well as those working behind the scenes such as cleaners.
Up to April 14, a total of 9,702 individuals have been arrested for breaching the MCO, Ismail Sabri said.
Ismail Sabri also said the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Department will be monitoring the supply levels of 25 daily essentials, noting that the ministry had yesterday carried out daily checks at 1,068 business premises, namely 775 retail outlets, 262 wholesalers and 31 manufacturers.
He said Malaysians were purchasing daily necessities at a normal level and no panic buying has been observed, noting that all supplies of such products were sufficient and able to fulfill current demand.
He said the government will be enforcing a maximum price scheme from today until April 28 to control the prices of 12 daily goods such as chicken, eggs, cooking oil, wheat flour, tomatoes, cabbage and mackerel.