From Sunday (March 22), the army will be mobilised to assist the police in ensuring that everyone adheres to the movement control order, which is aimed at curbing the Covid-19 outbreak. This was announced earlier by senior minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who added that the government has no intention of declaring an emergency or a curfew.

Authorities have been urging everyone to stay put where they are, and to just stay at home, unless you really have to go out for supplies or in an emergency. Even then, people have been asked to limit the movement and time spent out, and to not travel in groups.

The introduction of the army to aid enforcement looks to be necessary. Earlier, inspector-general of police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador had said that the level of awareness and cooperation from the public was only at 60%. News reports today are still highlighting the lackadaisical attitude of many, who are still gathered in groups or loitering around in the streets.

The police have already deployed around 8,600 officers nationwide, and 504 roadblocks had been set up since Wednesday to remind people to follow the rules of the MCO. Abdul Hamid had earlier said that the army would be roped in if reinforcements are needed, and that looks to be the case now. If you refuse to listen to advice from the cops, you might want to think twice about doing the same with the tentera.

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