Army to join MCO enforcement this Sunday

The government will mobilise the army to help in the enforcement of the movement control order.

PUTRAJAYA: The government has decided to mobilise the army to help the police in implementing the movement control order (MCO) to ensure people remain at home during the period.

Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the army will be mobilised on Sunday.

“We’re confident that with help from the army the MCO will be implemented better. And we hope the people will continue to comply with the government’s instructions,” he said, adding that many Malaysians still flout the MCO’s strict requirements to limit people’s mobility.

He also quashed rumours that Putrajaya would announce a state of emergency, saying this was fake news that would only spark panic among the people.

He said the army would be deployed under Section 5 of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988, which gives the health minister the authority to appoint any government agency to implement the relevant law.

Other announcements:

– The Singapore government has agreed to provide accommodation for Malaysian workers holed up there.

– Putrajaya and Singapore will form a joint task force involving defence ministers from both countries and a working committee involving heads of various ministries in both countries. The Johor government will also be involved.

– The education ministry has agreed to officially extend school holidays until March 31.

– The government will be providing food and drink for the estimated 60,000 tertiary students who are observing the MCO at their university/college housing. The costs will be borne by the government and are on top of additional initiatives by state governments.

– 55 Malaysians in Iran and 94 in Italy will be flown home on special mission flights on March 22 and 23 respectively.

– Employees who still have to report to office during the MCO will be provided with an authoritative letter to show police at roadblocks.

– Police have identified the estimated 4,000 tabligh members who have yet to be screened for Covid-19. Ismail urged them to come forward voluntarily instead of making the police search for them.

– Employers are not allowed to force their workers to take unpaid leave during the MCO. The human resources ministry will be taking action against those found doing so.

Meanwhile, Defence Forces chief Affendi Buang said the Malaysian Armed Forces would continue to carry out military operations to safeguard the security and sovereignty of the country.

However, he said all training activities would be postponed in light of the MCO.

“I have also directed every service to detail matters involving operations, training and courses, exercises, administration and logistics,” he said in a special message to armed forces personnel today.