The Malaysian prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is set to go live on TV today at 4 pm, with many expecting the premier to extend the duration of the movement control order (MCO). This sentiment is further echoed by the Selangor police, which had hinted that an extension is likely, The Star reports.

Selangor police spokesperson on Covid-19, assistant commissioner Ismail Muslim said “the MCO will probably be extended. All mosque and sure will continue to be closed. However, any official announcement will be made by the prime minister,” he told reporters at a press conference yesterday.

The MCO began on March 18, before the government extended it to a stricter second phase that will be in effect from April 1 to 14. In a bid to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, the number of essential services have been trimmed down to 10, residents are not permitted to travel more than 10 km from their homes, and food delivery service can only operate from 8 am to 8 pm daily.

To discourage people from flouting the MCO advisory, the police force has mobilised 94 roadblocks in key areas, introduced road closures in Petaling Jaya, and even began making rounds in residential areas to make sure people stay at home. Those in defiance of the MCO will be slapped with a RM1,000 compound which must be paid within two weeks, otherwise they risk being hauled to court.

In light of the possible MCO extension, a survey conducted by international agency YouGov Omnibus found that nearly half of Malaysians are willing to abide by the MCO, as long as it helps combat the spread of the virus. A quarter of the respondents said they could weather two more weeks of self-isolation, while 15% of them had no issue with an additional month-long extension.

Furthermore, one in seven respondents, or 14% said they were agreeable should the MCO get extended for three to six months. The survey also showed that individuals aged between 35 and 44 were most likely to disobey the MCO, and about 59% of Malaysians said their incomes were unaffected by the MCO.

Asia-Pacific YouGov Omnibus chief Jake Gammon said although a significant number of Malaysians had their income affected by the MCO, “it appears that most are cooperative and in support of it.” Now, on which side of the divide do you stand? Leave your thoughts in the comments section, below.

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