KUALA LUMPUR, May 13  — The stage of giving out advice and issuing warnings to those who ignore the rules and standard operating procedure of the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) is over.

That was the point stressed by Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob when he reacted to the report by the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) of the many cases of non-compliance to the rules and SOP of the CMCO throughout the country.

Ismail Sabri may have issued that warning as many people seem to have thumbed their noses at the CMCO just 10 days after it was imposed on May 4.

This was obvious in many locations, especially shopping centres and markets, even at the workplace, where the regulations and SOP set by the government are not heeded.

This situation reflects the lack-of-seriousness among the public of the government’s efforts and the sacrifices of the frontliners who are working hard to break the chain of COVID-19 infection.

Perhaps the current figures of COVID-19 cases have made us all complacent. For instance, yesterday recorded only 16 new positive cases, the lowest number since the Movement Control Order  (MCO) was imposed on March 18.

So it is not surprising that yesterday the government decided that the stage of advising and issuing warnings is over and those who violate the SOP of the CMCO will face legal action.

According to Ismail Sabri Yaakob, under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342), these people can be sentenced to a fine of up to RM1,000 or six months’ jail, or both, if convicted.

As such, he said, the public must continue to abide by the regulations and SOP set under the CMCO or face the possibility of the MCO being reintroduced.

So it is us, the people, who must realise that we determine if the MCO ends or not.

It is bad enough that many of us do not get to go back to our hometowns to celebrate Aidilfitri this year because of the CMCO. Do not let the same thing be repeated for Hari Raya Aidiladha after that.

As Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, “Let’s prove to the world that we can create history by breaking the chain of COVID-19 transmission and prevent a second wave from occurring.”


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