Public cooperation vital to curb COVID-19: Police Commissioner

James Kon

Public cooperation is essential to curb the spread of COVID-19 by strictly complying with instructions and regulations in place in the country, Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) Commissioner Dato Paduka Seri Haji Mohammad Irwan bin Haji Hambali said yesterday.

The reminder from the RBPF Commissioner comes following the case of 20 ‘party- goers’ who were produced before the Bandar Seri Begawan Magistrate’s Court and them pleading guilty under Section 269 of the Penal Code, Chapter 22 which is engaging in a negligent act that may spread an infectious disease endangering life.

“We would like to remind the public to comply with the instructions, especially from the Ministry of Health. We also seek cooperation from all to comply with the rules and regulations,” he said at a press conference at the Police Officers Mess.

About the case, Dato Paduka Seri Haji Mohammad Irwan said it involves an incident violating the Infectious Disease Act (Chapter 204) involving a group of 20 who gathered for a party at a hotel room in Berakas.

“The activity was carried out violating the government’s directive during the time when guidelines were issued to combat COVID-19 from spreading.”

Commissioner of the RBPF Dato Paduka Seri Haji Mohammad Irwan bin Haji Hambali. PHOTO: RBPF

He said investigations also revealed contraband like drugs, alcohol and cigarettes at the scene of the incident.

Following proceedings at the Magistrate’s Court, 12 suspects including a juvenile suspect were detained and tested positive for ganja and ecstasy while all 12 suspects pleaded guilty to the charge under Section 6 (b) and 7 of the Misuse of Drugs Act, Chapter 27.

Dato Paduka Seri Haji Mohammad Irwan said the government takes a very serious stand on the orders issued in relation with social distancing as well as restrictions to have any mass gathering activities.

“It is very important for the public to provide full cooperation in supporting and assisting the government in effectively implementing measures to prevent the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Since the start of COVID-19 in early March 2020, the RBPF has activated its power under the Infectious Disease Act (Chapter 204) to make sure that the law and regulations are enforced,” Dato Paduka Seri Haji Mohammad Irwan said

He said the RBPF sees among others that during COVID-19, the public complies with the Infectious Disease Act as some still do not follow the rules.

“The RBPF also ensures that Brunei continues to maintain peace and security. We have seen several cases of intrusion into the country as well as smuggling because the borders with neighbouring countries are closed or locked down. We also saw intrusion into the country through waters recently,” the RBPF Commissioner said.