PUTRAJAYA: The number of people arrested for defying the movement control order (MCO) is decreasing as more Malaysians are obeying the order, says Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
The Senior Minister said police arrested 368 individuals at roadblocks and during patrols on Saturday compared to 413 arrests on Friday.
“This is a decrease of 11%. The downward trend of arrests shows that Malaysians are obeying the MCO, ” he told a press conference yesterday.
Ismail Sabri, however, said there were still some who ignored the MCO and urged them to give their full cooperation to the authorities.
He said some of them not only disobeyed the MCO but also prevented public officials from carrying out their duties.
“I urge Malaysians to cooperate with the police as they are doing their job to protect the health and lives of Malaysians, ” he said.
“The police on duty are human beings. They are out there – under the hot sun or in the rain from morning to night to protect us.
“We should be considerate. (Instead) there were instances when people shouted at them.”
Asked whether the police needed to be investigated should they use harsh methods on MCO violators, Ismail Sabri said the Home Ministry would handle the matter.
Ismail Sabri also said the government had agreed to let the Attorney General’s Chambers, police and the Prisons Department discuss the suggestion of not jailing MCO violators over health concerns.
“The issue should be resolved as soon as possible, ” he said following the letter by the Prisons Department director-general Datuk Seri Zulkifli Omar which highlighted overcrowding in prisons after a spate of MCO violators were sentenced to jail.Zulkifli said overcrowding could increase the risk of Covid-19 spreading in the prisons and
He noted that 378 people had been sent to prison as of April 1 for violating the MCO.
Chief Justice Tan Sri Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat had also urged judges to take into consideration overcrowding when sentencing MCO violators.
The Office of the Chief Registrar of the Federal Court confirmed that it had received a letter from Zulkifli on Thursday about the prisons receiving MCO violators.
“Under the direction of the Chief Justice of Malaya, the Office has informed all the Judicial Officers that while taking into consideration the provisions of penalties under the existing laws, the issue regarding the risk of the spread of Covid-19 that may potentially be faced by prisons in Malaysia should also be considered in sentencing those who have violated the MCO, ” it said.
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