Community must practise self-control to combat Covid-19, says Ismail Sabri

MUAR (Aug 8): Community self-control is very crucial in the fight against Covid-19 as the government will not enforce the law continuously in efforts to combat the pandemic.

Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (pictured) said this was emphasised consistently at his press conferences — that members of the community who will ultimately take care of themselves, their families and the communities.

“Do practise self-control, which means one day, the movement control order (MCO) will be lifted where enforcement through law will cease from being implemented.

“We (the government) can’t continue enforcing Act 342 at one point but we have yet to know when. Hence, we need to practise self-control ourselves, [and] not [just] the frontliners anymore. The police will not be watching to ensure we are looking after ourselves,” he told reporters after the launch of the Embracing New Norms Campaign at the Pagoh Sports Complex here today.

Ismail Sabri, who is also the campaign chairman, said that self-awareness of members of the community is very crucial in ensuring compliance with the standard operating procedures (SOPs).

Therefore, the campaign is implemented so that SOP compliance will be adopted as a new practice or culture without people being told to do so in order to maintain the safety and health of the individuals, families and communities.

“At the end of the day, we are the frontliners. [It is] no longer the police or the army,” he added.

The Prevention and Control of Infectious Disease Act 1988 (Act 342) is currently applicable to all states except Sarawak to combat the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

When asked whether the recovery MCO (RMCO), which is scheduled to end on Aug 31, will be extended due to an increase in new Covid-19 cases, he said the government would review the current situation of Covid-19 and discuss with the Ministry of Health (MoH) first.

“We do not know [whether we will extend the RMCO or otherwise] but we will look at the situation then. That is why I said earlier that perhaps a week before Aug 31, when we will meet and discuss,” he said.

When asked if there were those stubborn individuals still flouting the SOPs, he said the police had been given the authority to use their discretion to either issue a compound or detain the violators.

“Thus far, I think the police have submitted 31 or 32 investigation papers to the attorney-general (AG) for further action, whether to press charges or otherwise. It is up to the AG and if the accused to be charged in court, the punishment is severe,” he said.

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