KUALA LUMPUR,Jan 15: Officers and personnel of the Malaysian armed forces now have the power to detain and take action against those found violating the movement control order, senior minister for security Ismail Sabri Yaakob said today.

He said that the Emergency Ordinance provides similar authority to the police and military, which would help efforts to manage the Covid-19 crisis better.

“If previously the armed forces could only take action if there was border intrusion, now they can detain suspects for further action without the presence of police,” he said at his daily media briefing.

He said the new measure will be in effect through the duration of the state of emergency, which is scheduled to be lifted on Aug 1 or when the Covid-19 crisis has abated.

Ismail said the police will take stern action against those who cross state borders especially in MCO areas, beginning Saturday. Compound fines will be issued on the field for violating the order.

“For the three days until tomorrow (Jan 15) we (the government) are still in the ‘mood’ of advising and no action will be taken. But after tomorrow, the police will no longer compromise,” he said.

He said states under the conditional movement control order (CMCO) and recovery MCO could have full MCO restrictions enforced if the health ministry discovers a drastic rise in Covid-19 cases.


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