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Breaking News : Defense Minister Is Expected To Announced 2 Weeks MCO In Selangor , KL , Penang , Johor & Sarawak At 5pm

Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob is scheduled to hold a press conference this afternoon at around 5pm, after days of speculation that a movement control order (MCO) will be reintroduced in the Klang Valley as well as several states.

On Sunday (May 2), English daily The Star reported sources as saying that the government is set to announce a two-week MCO starting from May 3 in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Johor and Sarawak. Malaysia has so far had two iterations of the MCO — either nationwide or covering most parts of the country.

Ismail Sabri was later reported on the same day as denying the speculation, saying that there has yet to even be a meeting by the National Security Council (NSC) since Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s remark on the government’s need to review the current MCO.

He said that premises which had been visited by a big number of those found positive for Covid-19 would be asked to close.

In a statement yesterday, he said the government had used an early warning system known as Hotspots Identification for Dynamic Engagement (HIDE) to identify areas and premises which were at high risk of transmitting the disease.

“This approach is in line with the government’s decision to have a targeted approach in controlling and curbing Covid-19.

“Through this system, monitoring is done every day to identify high-risk public locations, ” said Muhyiddin.

Sources told The Star that a two-week MCO would be enforced in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Johor and Sarawak from tomorrow. According to them, the new MCO would be similar to MCO 2.0, which took place between Jan 11 and Jan 26 in parts of the country, in which economic activities were allowed but schools were closed and social and religious activities barred.

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It is learnt that no dine-in would be allowed at eateries.

One source said an announcement on the new MCO would be made today.

He said the government had to tread carefully in implementing the MCO as it would impact Hari Raya celebrations as well as the possibility of affecting the many Ramadan bazaars which were allowed to operate during the fasting month.

It is learnt that Ramadan bazaars in MCO states would have to close, with the exception of those located in the southwest district on Penang island.

“The MCO in five districts in Kedah yesterday is part of the proposal which was presented to the National Security council on Friday. But we decided to impose it on Kedah earlier as the situation is alarming, ” he said.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba signed a gazette yesterday declaring MCO on five districts in Kedah, namely Kota Setar, Kuala Muda, Bandar Baru, Baling and Kulim.

“The government has agreed to implement MCO in these five districts in Kedah beginning today (yesterday) until May 14, ” he said.

“This is a decision made for the safety of the people, ” he said when contacted.

In explaining the MCO, one source said: “Economic activities will continue as people have to go to work, but those who can work from home will be encouraged to do so.”

Schools in MCO states would also likely be closed this time due to many “education clusters”, the source said.

“Furthermore, there are only five more school days before schools close for the Raya break, and another two weeks of online learning, as announced by the Education Ministry.”

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As for social and religious functions, he said such events would either be put on hold or permitted with a minimal number of people in attendance.

“We will most likely be having a Raya celebration similar to the one last year where only immediate family members in the same household were allowed. And no open houses.

“Interstate travel for balik kampung is not allowed, ” he said, adding that the number of people in a vehicle could also be restricted.

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