PETALING JAYA: Lame excuses to stay outdoors during the enforcement of the movement control order (MCO) will no longer be tolerated by police.
Since Wednesday, police have started taking a stern stance by arresting those who defy the MCO.
The move was taken after Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador revealed on Wednesday morning that with the Covid-19 virus raging unabated, the non-compliance to the MCO by a fraction of the public was worrying.
The police have heard it all when it comes to invalid excuses made by errant individuals longing to stay outdoors.
Resorting to stricter enforcement were Petaling Jaya police, where 15 people including a woman and two Myanmar men, all aged between 18 and 40 were arrested over 12 hours in the district.
The 15 people who were held between 4pm on Wednesday and 4am today were found driving, riding their motorcycles and gathering at public places.
They were nabbed after failing to justify their purpose for being outdoors.
Petaling Jaya police chief ACP Nik Ezanee Mohd Faisal said the arrests were made at Desa Mentari, Kampung Lindungan, at the New Pantai Expressway (NPE) and Ara Damansara.
“When we say stay indoors, we mean it. We have spent the last eight days by taking a softer approach of advising people to comply with the MCO. Please stay in your homes and only come out when there is a very urgent need to do so,” he said.
Nik Ezanee said police had to act sternly as the compliance rate to the MCO had declined to 80% of the population in the district.
It appears the stern enforcement had yielded favourable results as at about 3pm today, the compliance rate had gone up to 90%.
Almost 700 police reports were lodged nationwide on violations related to the MCO.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin said as the MCO enters its second week, police will resort to firmer action against those who continue to stubbornly defy the order.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan said that security forces may use any form of enforcement deemed necessary to ensure the public complies with it.
To date, several individuals have been charged in court for failing to observe the MCO and were fined between RM1,000 and RM8,000.