If you’re befuddled over what is permissible and what is not in the ever-changing standard operating procedures (SOPs) of the current movement control order (MCO), you’re not alone. Even the people enforcing it are, it seems – the rapidly evolving SOPs have left quite a number of policemen confused over their enforcement, the Malay Mail reports.

This, according to Bukit Aman department of internal security and public order (JKDNKA) director Datuk Seri Abd Rahim Jaafar, was natural, given the scale of the enforcement activity. He said that with around 100,000 police personnel as well as enforcers from other agencies about, there are bound to be varying interpretations of the SOPs as well as with the application of the law.

“We can’t deny that when everyone has a different understanding of the law, there are bound to be issues. We are in the process of educating our officers regarding the SOPs during this MCO,” he told Malay weekly Mingguan Malaysia, which published the original report.

“Even during normal communication, when we pass the information from person to person, by the time it reaches the 10th individual, the message may have varied. Try to imagine passing information to 100,000 officers nationwide, and there are bound to be issues,” he was quoted as saying.

This has of course led to dissatisfaction from members of the public issued compound notices as a result of what is interpreted as wrong. “We are trying to mend this situation, but while we’re at it, new SOPs are added,” he said.

However, he said that because authorities are now more aware of the situation, there has been a reduction in questionable compound notices being issued, and added that authorities were putting new checks in place to ensure that no one is fined wrongly.

“In the future before any enforcement authority goes out to work, we will brief and debrief them and upon return from duty, we will check the compound they issued and validate if it was indeed a violation of an SOP,” he explained.

However, Abd Rahim added that “the law that states you should not go out unless you have a valid reason still stands.” So, unless you have a truly valid reason to be out and about, the best move – as always – is to stay put.

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