Close errant pubs and nightclubs, minister tells councils

Police arrested 674 people yesterday, of whom 325 were for activities at entertainment centres. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Local councils have been told to act decisively, such as by withdrawing licences and closing premises, if errant pub and nightclub operators continue to flout movement control order (MCO) restrictions by staying in operation.

Senior Minister for Security Ismail Sabri Yaakob said today the councils should withdraw the licenses of the premises, and close the entertainment outlets if they continue to flout the restrictions.

It was the second time in a month that the minister has warned pub and nightclub operators, and reminded local authorities of the need to take action.

He said entertainment activities were still prohibited under the recovery movement control order (RMCO). “Our RMCO gives a lot of flexibility but entertainment centres such as bars, nightclubs and so on are still not allowed,” he said. However, many continued to commit offences related to operations of entertainment centres.

“We have also asked the local authorities to revoke the licences and close the premises where entertainment activities are conducted. We expect more firm action from local authorities,” he said at a press conference today.

Ismail said the police had arrested 674 people for MCO offences yesterday, 325 for taking part in activities at entertainment centres, and 170 others for not wearing face masks.

“The police are being stricter than usual, that’s why we see an increase in arrests of 674 people,” he said.

“Basic SOPs are still not complied with by some people,” he said, adding that a high number of people were detained every day for not wearing face masks. He urged the people to comply rather than be subject to legal action.

A total of 561 new Covid-19 cases were reported today, with Sabah reporting the highest number.