ATM can now take action on MCO violators

Photo used for illustration purposes only

KUALA LUMPUR – Officers and personnel of the Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) now have the power to detain and take action against those found violating the Movement Control Order (MCO).

Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said under the implementation of the Emergency Ordinance, the authority held by the police and army are the same and this will help efforts to manage the COVID-19 situation better.


“If previously the armed forces could only take action if there was border intrusion, now they can detain suspects for further action without the presence of police,” he said at the media conference about the development of the MCO today.

He said it will be in effect throughout the entire duration of the enforcement of the Emergency Ordinance until August.

On Tuesday, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah proclaimed that an emergency that would be enforced up to Aug 1 as a proactive measure to contain the worsening COVID-19 pandemic in Malaysia.

Ismail Sabri also said that the police will not compromise and will take stern action against those who intend to cross state lines especially in MCO areas beginning Saturday.

He said compounds will be issued on the field for violating the order.

“For the period of three days till tomorrow, we (the government) are still in the ‘mood’ of advising and no action will be taken. But after tomorrow, the police will no longer compromise,” he said.

He said states under the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) and the Recovery MCO (RMCO) can have the MCO enforced on them if the Health Ministry discovers a drastic rise in COVID-19 cases.

In other developments, he said the department heads of the civil service need to consider a rotation system and the option of working from home for parents who are working in essential services so that they can monitor their primary school children during their online learning sessions.

Fake comments

The Embassy of Germany and the British High Commission in Malaysia meanwhile in a related development had denied that personnel from their respective missions had commented on a current issue recently.

The embassy and the High Commission, in separate replies to journalists, said no staff with names mentioned in the viral post are employed with the missions.

“The German Embassy would like to make sure that the government and the people of Malaysia are aware that this is false news.

“Neither the Economic Counsellor of the German Embassy Kuala Lumpur nor the German Embassy (of) Kuala Lumpur have issued such a statement. No person by that name is employed by the German Embassy,”

“Therefore, the German Embassy would like to encourage everyone that if a piece of information looks suspicious, to try to verify the information by turning to trustworthy sources or news outlets,” said the embassy’s spokesperson, Dr. David Krivanek.

Meanwhile, the British High Commission has also clarified that none of its staff member has anything to do with the comment which has since gone viral.

“We do not have an Ivan Skatch in the British High Commission, and have not issued the comment mentioned in the Facebook post.

“Posting such false information is irresponsible and we would ask social media users not to circulate such unverified and false comments,” said a spokesperson from the High Commission.

They were asked to comment on persons claiming to be the staff of both missions making remarks on the emergency declaration due to COVID-19 pandemic in this country.