Just as things were improving, along comes a weekend to bring those numbers up again. We’re talking about arrests related to movement control order (MCO) offences, and Sunday saw 554 people being detained for violating the order, a 51% increase over the 368 arrests made the day before.

Senior minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said yesterday’s numbers represented the first increase after four days of declining arrests, The Star reports. He said that many people were still considering Sunday a holiday as they would normally and were taking the opportunity to go out for no good reason.

“I was informed by the police that many are using Sunday as an opportunity to go out, and many did go out. Please don’t assume that it is alright to go out on Sunday, because it is not alright. Unless there is an immediate or critical need, everyone should stay at home,” he said.

Ismail Sabri said that authorities put up 743 roadblocks nationwide on Sunday, and had inspected 203,051 vehicles. Of the 554 individuals that were arrested, 489 individuals were remanded and 65 were allowed bail, with 213 being charged in court yesterday. He added that since the start of the MCO until yesterday (April 5), the police had made a total of 6,048 arrests.

In Petaling Jaya, police arrested 12 people who failed to give reasonable excuses as to why they were out during the MCO. Among those detained was a 33-year-old foreigner who became violent with the cops after he was stopped at a roadblock near the PJS2 toll plaza.

According to Petaling Jaya OCPD ACP Nik Ezanee Mohd Alias, the man did not give a reasonable excuse for being out during the MCO, and began shoving and shouting at a police officer before threatening to start a fight. He said that those arrested will be investigated and could face a fine of not more than RM1,000 or serve a prison sentence not exceeding six months or both.

In phase two of the MCO, the government has announced that supermarkets, grocers, restaurants providing takeaways and petrol stations are all limited to 8am-8pm operating hours, and the same goes for food delivery services. Public transport operation hours are now from 6am to 10am and 5pm to 10pm daily, while taxis and ride-hailing vehicles will be permitted to operate from 6am to 10pm.

With public compliance now said to be at 99%, there’s no reason to let up on the effort. Please continue to heed the call to stay at home, and if you do head out, keep travel distances short and be mindful of the 10 km limit for the radius of travel. Also, remember to bring your utility bills as proof of residence that you’re not far from where you are, and adhere to the one-person-per-car rule. Most importantly, no joyrides, unless you want to end up in the slammer.

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