KUALA LUMPUR – Police will take stern action and no longer compromise with those who do not comply with standard operating procedures (SOPs), said Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
He said since the announcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO) three days ago, the government has provided exceptions and the police have been using their discretion when taking action.
“Today (Jan 15) is the last day the police use discretion because tomorrow (Jan 16) the police will act sternly and not compromise with those who do not comply with the SOPs,” he said at a media conference regarding the development of MCO today.
Ismail Sabri said if the public was still confused about the SOPs they can visit the National Security Council’s website or call the relevant agency or ministry hotline.
In addition, the compliance operation task force conducted 45,172 checks to monitor and enforce SOP compliance throughout the country.
“A total of 3,111 supermarkets, 3,913 restaurants, 829 factories, 1,548 markets, and 2,646 places of worship as well as 1,268 recreational outlets were checked.
“The police detained 514 individual for violating the SOPs and from that total, 495 were issued compounds while 18 were remanded and one was released on bail,” he said.
Meanwhile, regarding Op Benteng, the authorities managed to arrest 42 illegal immigrants and seize a boat, along with three vehicles in operations throughout the country, he added.
“A total of 444 roadblocks under Op Benteng were implemented throughout the country with the assistance of the armed forces, police, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, Immigration Department, Customs Department and the Malaysian Border Control Agency,” he said.
Male students who will be attending school to sit for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia or Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia 2020 and 2021 during the MCO will be given flexibility if they sport long hair.
Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the matter was decided in a special session of the National Security Council (MKN) today which agreed that no action would be taken against long-haired students.
“The Ministry of Education has made a decision as a result of discussions in a special session of the MKN, that despite long hair, students will be allowed to go to school without receiving any reprimands from teachers as barbershops are still not allowed to operate,” he said in a press conference on the developments relating to the MCO, here, today.
Ismail Sabri said the economic sector, involving barber shops, in affected areas was still closed for two weeks, and this (rule) would be evaluated by the Health Ministry depending on the situation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the same press conference, Ismail Sabri said institutions of higher learning or schools should not impose conditions on students to undergo Covid-19 screening tests in order to enter dormitories or to sit for examinations except for students with symptoms.
He said this after a complaint about the issue that students have to bear the costs of Covid-19 test screenings.
In the meantime, for the operation of optical shops, he said, permission was given by the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry after examining the appeal of industry players but they were only allowed to operate with strict standard operating procedures or they would face appropriate action and punishment.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin previously announced the implementation of the MCO in six states — Penang, Selangor, Federal Territories (Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan), Melaka, Johor and Sabah for a period of 14 days from Jan 13 to 26.
Some economic activities are allowed throughout the MCO with operating hours between 6 am and 8 pm except for certain activities including restaurants, eateries, roadside hawkers, and open-air (eateries) as well as food courts where dining at the premises is disallowed but only deliveries, packing food and drive-throughs are allowed.
In addition, kiosks, grocery stores, convenience stores and those for daily necessities, as well as laundries except for self-service ones are allowed to open within the same time limits.