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MCO: SOP to be tightened in second phase — Ismail Sabri

PUTRAJAYA (March 26): The Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the Movement Control Order (MCO) is to be tightened to ensure full compliance.

This includes the possibility of further restricting mobility for the purchase of essentials, Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said.

He said the new SOP was now being drawn by the National Security Council (MKN), which will then be applied during the second phase of the MCO. 

“In the first phase, although there were movement restrictions, there was still some leeway, exemptions given. The police said there was a 95% (level of public) compliance, which shows there are still some who are defiant. 

“MKN has been asked to introduce a new and stricter SOP, so after this, there would be restrictions in terms of movement for the purchase of essentials, food, shopping and so on,” he said after chairing the Special Ministerial Committee meeting on the MCO today. 

Ismail said this decision had to be made as 5% of Malaysians are still defying MCO directives, this despite countless reminders given.

“I have explained, and have given reminders that police may change their approach from merely advising to taking more stern action. This is actually what the people want the government to do as I myself have received many messages for strict action to be taken.

“The police and the army reported that despite markets and supermarkets complying with social distancing directives, there were still customers who do not adhere to them. 

“It is the same on the roads, although the cities appear empty, the fact that there are still long queues at roadblocks show that many, besides those who enter the city to work, are still venturing out,” he said. 

Strict action had begun yesterday after the authorities arrested 110 persons for disobeying the MCO. 

Ismail said besides this, more roadblocks will be mounted in red zones such as the Sri Petaling mosque and the Selayang wholesale market. 

At the same time, he also gave an assurance that vehicles transporting food items will be given easier access at roadblocks. 

He said claims that vegetables from Cameron Highland had to be discarded after they could not pass roadblocks were also untrue. 

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