Majority of people comply with Movement Control Order

KUALA LUMPUR: The majority of people complied with the movement control order which came into force today to curb the spread of COVID-19 although some defied the government directive by still openly gathering in groups.

Checks by Bernama throughout the country showed that morning traffic on most major roads especially here and in state capital cities was smooth and light as people began working from home following the order on closure of offices and non-essential business premises.

In fact, supermarkets and shopping centres throughout the country were relatively quiet after several days of heavy shopping before the movement control order was imposed.

Popular tourist destinations like Pantai Batu Buruk, Pasar Payang and the Drawbridge in Terengganu, Teluk Cempedak and Taman Gelora in Pahang, Masjid Zahir, Menara Alor Setar and Kompleks Pekan Rabu in Kedah, as well as Bandar Hilir and Jonker Street in Melaka were devoid of the usual crowds although it is the school holiday season.

It was also quiet at major entry points to the country like the Immigration, Customs, Quarantine and Security (ICQS) Complex in Bukit Kayu Hitam, Kedah and the Johor Causeway, following the prohibition of overseas travel by Malaysians and the entry of foreigners.

Police were seen making their rounds to ensure compliance with the order, which was announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on Monday.

The order among others requires the closure of non-essential government and private offices, houses of worship, and business premises for 14 days from today, except for supermarkets, grocery shops and convenience stores selling daily necessities.

The survey found that most businesses not dealing in essential goods closed their premises as directed while eateries which were open catered to only takeaways and did not serve dine-in customers.

Some restaurants in Putrajaya also put up notices reminding customers that dining in was not allowed.

However, it was regrettable that despite the order to restrict movement and prevent people from gathering, some still took the directive lightly and persisted at eating inside restaurants. Such cases of defiance were reported in almost every state.

In Sri Rampai here, many were going about their regular activity of buying goods at Pasar Tani while at the residential flats areas in Ukay Perdana, Ampang and Pantai Dalam, residents continued to gather at food premises despite being asked to disperse by police.

At the Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS) here, some were seen occupying the tables of restaurants there to eat packed food they brought from outside despite the ban on dining-in.

The same happened in Kelantan as a Bernama check in Tanah Merah town found that many customers were eating inside restaurants while the wholesale market was operating as usual, and most of the traders and visitors were not wearing face masks.

In Kuching, although the majority of residents observed the order, there were a handful of food stall operators who allowed their customers to dine at their premises.

Sarawak Police Commissioner Datuk Aidi Ismail, when contacted, said traders who violated the order can be punished under Section 24(a) of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988, which provides for imprisonment of up to two years or fine, or both.

Meanwhile, Penang police chief Datuk Shahabudin Abdul Manan told Bernama that police were carrying out their duties as normal, including patrolling tourist spots to prevent people from gathering.

“People found gathering at tourist areas or public places would be asked to leave, and further action would be taken if they ignored the police directive,” he added.


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