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By Adrian Lim
KUCHING, March 22: Putrajaya is looking to deploy more personnel from the Civil Defence Force and People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela) to assist police and the armed forces to ensure public compliance with the Movement Control Order (MCO)
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the federal government is committed to make sure that all Malaysians abide by the MCO.
“Currently, we gather from the police that there are about 90 per cent of the people who have complied with the MCO. But there is still 10 per cent who have yet to comply with it and it is still quite a lot considering the population of the country, which is about 32 million.
“With the armed forces personnel helping the police force today, it is hoped that the situation will be better,” the senior minister told a press conference after the National Security Council meeting on Covid-19.
Ismail Sabri said currently, there are about 1,462 Rela members and 3,000 members of the civil defence on the ground assisting the police in roadblocks and monitoring the restriction order in rural areas across the country.
He believed that more manpower are needed to ensure MCO compliance in the rural areas.
He added that the police has also created a special task force to mobilise more civil defence and Rela members to assist them in rural areas.
On a related note, Ismail Sabri explained that the purpose to deploy the armed forces was to assist the police in roadblocks and advise the people to comply with MCO.
“The armed forces personnel will not use military action in contrary to certain reports, or fake news, which mentioned that the defence ministry will deploy tanks and soldiers to detain and capture people during this time.
“The power to detain people lies with the police,” he continued.
Ismail Sabri said the police has identified close to 9,000 people who attended the tabligh gathering at a mosque in Sri Petaling last month.
He urged those who has yet to come forward, especially those without proper documentation such as the Rohingyas, to report themselves to the nearest clinic or government hospitals.
Ismail Sabri reminded that at current, safety and health of the people in the country, took priority over stateless citizenship issue.
He also said that the three Covid-19 casualties in Sarawak were linked to family members and not a direct person who had attended the tabligh gathering in Sri Petaling.
Nevertheless, he urged those who attended the gathering or had close contacts with the participants to report themselves to the nearest clinic or hospitals.
Ismail Sabri said the federal government has mobilised close to 50,000 personnel including the police, military, civil defence, Rela and enforcement officers from the local councils to help with the MCO exercise. — DayakDaily