The Malaysian military will be deployed at supermarkets alongside police officers and other local authorities on 22 March 2020. The decision for the mobilisation is to ensure citizens comply with the Movement Control Order (MCO) that was issued by the government earlier this week.
Defence Minister Daruk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob stated during a press conference that there have been numerous reports of people overcrowding at supermarkets. “The advice to keep one meter away from each other was not adhered to,” he said. “So, we have agreed that the police and the army will be stationed at supermarkets and assisted by the local authorities.
The minister announced that 50,000 personnel of the military, police, RELA, Malaysian Civil Defence Force and local authorities have been mobilised nationwide to monitor the situation. “Maybe they can help to make sure people will take turns to enter a supermarket,” explained Ismail Sabri.
He also assured citizens to not be alarmed by presence of military personnel as their deployment is implemented under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1998. “As such, only the police have the power to take action and to arrest, not the army,” he added.
The Malaysian National Security Council (MKN) advises citizens to only assign one person per household to acquire groceries, essential items and medicine. We would also like to remind our readers to abide the law and continue practicing social distancing during the MCO.
Alternatively, you can refer to our previous article which lists the various online grocers that can deliver your daily needs to your home. It’s also worth noting that food delivery services are still operating as usual, with contactless delivery options available to further ensure safety.