Miri cops on patrol to ensure compliance with restricted movement order

Senior citizens gathering at the 'Old Folks Street' this morning (March 18, 2020).

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Brad Rantayy

MIRI, March 18: Cops will be deployed to various locations across the district to ensure public compliance with the movement control order (MCO) which takes effect from today until March 31 due to the spike in Covid-19 cases in the country.

Miri police chief ACP Lim Meng Seah revealed he has instructed his men to patrol in and around the city centre covering public places such as coffee shops to ensure that there are no mass gatherings as part of the government’s effort to contain the spread of the disease.

“Stern warnings will be given to those citizens who violate or resist the order (MCO),” Lim said.

He added, all citizens during the restricted movement order period will have to stay home to stop the spread.

The restricted movement order is implemented under the Prevention and Control of Infecrious Diseases Act 1988 and the Police Act 1967.

Those defying the order could be punished under Section 24 Act 342 , if found guilty, and the offence is also punishable by imprisonment for a term not exceeding to two years or fine, or both (first offence); punishable not less than five years or fined or both (second and subsequent offence); and a fine not exceeding RM200 per day if the offence continues.

The nearly deserted road outside the Miri Central police station (CPS) this morning (March 18, 2020).

A check on the ground today revealed some citizens still patronising coffee shops and public places amidst the pandemic.

At the ‘Old Folks Street’ in the middle of Beautiful Jade Centre in Persiaran Kabor here, dozens of senior citizens were observed congregating in the area to drink coffee early this morning.

Some were engaged in Chinese chess sessions with their friends despites MCO being announced the day before.

Prior to and after the announcement, numerous notices were issued by various authorities advising the public to avoid public places or eateries that involved big crowds.

During the MCO period, only supermarkets, public markets and convenience stores are allowed to stay open, while food business operators are only allowed to offer takeaways. — DayakDaily