By Adrian Lim
KUCHING, Oct 10: The Royal Malaysia Police have been tasked to tighten the enforcement of non-compliance of standard operating procedures (SOPs) especially to villagers in the rural areas who violated them during the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) period.
Sarawak Deputy Police Commissioner Datuk Dev Kumar warned villagers that police officers will not hesitate to compound villagers on the spot if they are found to be in violation of the SOPs for gathering especially outdoor gatherings.
He disclosed that policemen can issue compounds to violators of SOPs without bringing them to the police station.
Dev observed that a small group of villagers in the rural areas refused to observe the SOPs for Covid-19 such as physical distancing and wearing of face masks during gatherings in longhouses.
Without naming the villages, Dev revealed that there were pictures circulating in the media on the non-compliance of SOPs by some villagers in the rural areas.
“Following the increased number of Covid-19 cases in Sarawak, the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chaired by Datuk Amar (Douglas Uggah Embas) has instructed the police force to tighten the surveillance and the adhering of SOPs during the RMCO period.
“Although the police noted that the level of compliance of SOPs by the society in Sarawak is high, nonetheless there were small groups of people who totally disobey the SOPs in particular physical distancing and wearing of face masks in crowded public areas.
“We have discovered that the non-compliance (of SOPs) are normally found in rural areas whereby there are large gatherings or ceremonies held.
“Some villagers were seen not wearing face masks and standing close next to each other. This could pose a risk for Covid-19 infection,” he said during a press conference here today.
Dev stressed that the police are giving a stern warning to those who do not cooperate with the authorities and do not want to comply with the SOPs during RMCO.
He also pointed out that organisers of any gathering should follow the SOPs such as reducing the capacity of participants or crowd to 50 per cent for indoor gatherings.
Dev added that SDMC did not permit any outdoor gatherings.
He said with the latest decision made by SDMC, the police will tighten its enforcement and will issue direct compounds on the field to violators.
Dev also pointed out that those who do not abide by the SOP such as wearing face masks in public areas will be arrested and be compounded. —DayakDaily