Irrespective of rank or position, action would be taken against those who flout preventive measures, warned Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
“What is needed now is for all of us to adhere to the SOP and directives issued by the government.
“For those who breach the law, compound and other punishments will be imposed irrespective of their positions and status.
“Forgive me, if Abah starts to use the rotan (cane),” he said in a special address to the nation on Covid-19 yesterday.
The government is considering proposals to limit large congregations such as weddings and public gatherings to curb the spread of Covid-19.
On the issue of quarantine, he stressed that there would be no double standards on the matter.
“At this moment, I myself am undergoing self-quarantine at home after chairing a meeting which was attended by a minister who tested positive for Covid-19.
“This is the SOP which has been set by the government. As the Prime Minister, I am not excluded from the SOP,” he said.
He added that seven ministers and six deputy ministers were also undergoing quarantine and were not excluded from this SOP.
“They must follow the rules and action will be taken if they flout the rules,” he said.
He also noted that the government had no plans to impose a national lockdown despite the recent increase of Covid-19 cases as such a move would be disastrous.
He said if the government were to reintroduce a national lockdown, it would have a huge impact that could affect the social and economic system of the country.
“Instead, what will be done by the government is to implement the targeted enhanced movement control order (MCO) at identified areas with high Covid-19 cases.
“With this, the economic and social activities in other areas which are not affected can continue while observing a strict SOP and enforcement of law,” he said.
Muhyiddin also acknowledged concerns over the possible last-minute announcement of closure of schools or borders between states.
He said any decisions on such matters would be done upon advice of the National Security Council and the Health Ministry.
“I give the guarantee that sufficient notice will be given before any decision is implemented, so no one is left stranded,” he added.
He also assured Malaysians that the country was now better prepared in terms of experience and manpower as well as facilities to handle the current situation.
“But we need to break the transmission of the virus and the best way is to stay at home, especially in areas where targeted MCO is enforced.
“We must flatten the curve. We did it before and I firmly believe that we can do it again,” he said.
He expected the number of Covid-19 cases to rise in the coming days but noted this was due to aggressive screening being done at prisons and detention centres.
Muhyiddin added that over the past few weeks, positive cases detected among detainees had contributed largely to the increase in cases.
“As of Monday, a total of 18,712 people from 13 clusters in Sabah have been screened and 1,584 tested positive.
“In Kedah, as many as 53,097 individuals from nine clusters were screened where 888 tested positive,” said the Prime Minister.
Muhyiddin also acknowledged that the recent campaign during the Sabah polls was among the factors contributing to the rise of Covid-19 cases.
Although the Election Commission had implemented Covid-19 preventive measures during campaigning, he said it was not strictly followed.