‘Balik kampung’ before MCO? Here’s what you need to do before returning to urban areas, says Ismail Sabri

Police and Armed Forces personnel conduct checks on vehicles during a roadblock on Jalan Pahang in Kuala Lumpur April 15, 2020. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Police and Armed Forces personnel conduct checks on vehicles during a roadblock on Jalan Pahang in Kuala Lumpur April 15, 2020. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

PUTRAJAYA, April 22 — People who returned to their hometowns before the movement control order (MCO) came into effect on March 18 and now want to travel back to urban areas should register online before doing so, said Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

He said the government understands that many, who have been away for over a month, wish to return to their respective homes in urban areas.

“Those who want to return can register via the Gerak Malaysia app with the police and Communications and Multimedia Ministry (MCMC) from Saturday (April 25),” Ismail Sabri said during his daily press conference.

For those unable to access the internet, they can instead arrange for an appointment with their nearby police station, where they can register to travel.

“However, the final decision will only be made after May 1, once approval from the National Security Council has been granted or based on the advice of the Health Ministry,” he said.

The minister acknowledged that many want to return home, especially since his recent announcement on loosening restrictions for public and private university students to travel back to their hometowns.

“However, there is a bit of difference between the students wanting to go back to their hometowns, and those wanting to return to urban areas. In the case of the public university students, we know their numbers so it is easier for us to plan ahead.

“Likewise, their health status is also known to the authorities since they have been on campus all this time under monitoring. This is in comparison to those already in the villages, as their approximate numbers remain unknown,” Ismail Sabri said.

He added that preparations to send public university students back to their hometowns may involve buses, but those seeking to return to the urban areas must do so on their own.

As of yesterday, the police and Armed Forces conducted 835 roadblocks nationwide, with 609,411 vehicles checked. 50,226 spot checks were also conducted, with 6,122 premises examined by the authorities.

“Approximately 865 individuals were arrested yesterday for violating the MCO, compared to 946 individuals the day before. Of this number, 732 have been remanded while 133 have been bailed by the police (dijamin polis).

“Thus far, 1,236 people have been charged in court for breaking the MCO, with the total cumulative arrests of MCO violators as of yesterday standing at 17,735 people,” Ismail Sabri said.

The police along with MCMC have also opened 237 investigation papers into Covid 19-related fake news as of today, compared to 229 papers the day before. Of this number, 169 are still being investigated while 24 cases have since been charged in court, with 13 pleading guilty and 11 being issued warning notices.

The Housing and Local Government Ministry has also conducted 3,332 public sanitation operations since March 30, involving 109 zones nationwide, including 30 red zones.

Yesterday, 292 operations covering 81 zones in 14 states were conducted, including 41 in Johor and 33 in Perak. The operations encompassed 234 government buildings, 110 public areas, 174 business centres and 21 supermarkets.

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