The police has warned the public that it will not hesitate to take action against those who leave their home without good reason during the movement control order (MCO) period, which has now been extended by another two weeks to April 14.

According to inspector-general of police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador, authorities have been given the green light to ensure increased compliance with the order, which is aimed at limiting the spread of Covid-19. He said police, which initially adopted a gentler approach of advising people to stay home, have begun arresting people for various MCO-related offences.

“About 110 people have been arrested in the past seven days for flouting the MCO,” he said. He stated that those arrested were not only those being rebellious against the MCO, but also those who threatened and cursed at police and army personnel enforcing the order, as The Star reports.

Abdul Hamid had this to say to those who insist on not following orders. “To those who think they are invincible to the disease and want to act tough, don’t be surprised if you are arrested. And please be prepared to spend a few nights in a police lock-up,” he said.

He said that while the level of public compliance with the MCO was nearing 95% compared to the 60% rate at the start, people were still driving out unnecessarily or not keeping their travel distances short.

“An example is the roadblock that took place in Sungai Buloh yesterday. When some motorists were asked where they were heading to, one gave the excuse that he was heading to Sungai Buloh to buy food, but his address was in Shah Alam, and one even went out to buy tools. We forced them to turn back,” he said, adding that a total of 234,660 vehicles had been inspected at roadblocks nationwide so far.

Meanwhile, in Petaling Jaya, excuses given by motorists to police at roadblocks as the reason for them being out on the road included needing to go to the office to water the plant, sending a cake, buying a newspaper and coming out to buy lunch, Berita Harian reports.

According to PJ district police chief ACP Nik Ezanee Mohd Faisal, there were no incidences of the public scolding or criticising the cops at PJ roadblocks, but the excuses provided were an indication that many were still unaware of the dangers associated with the outbreak.

“In fact, some residing in Shah Alam said they wanted to buy kitchen items (in PJ) when they were questioned at a road block at the Damansara toll plaza,” he said.

Once again, we remind everyone that if it is absolutely necessary for you to get provisions, medical supplies and food, please make it fast and limit the distance travelled for those purposes, and remember the one person per car rule. You can try switching to delivery services for food as much as possible, or at least on alternate occasions, in a bid to heed the government’s call to just stay at home.