Senior minister: 1,248 vehicles ‘returning to hometown’ ordered to turn back

Authorities have set up 147 roadblocks nationwide to monitor interstate travels. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Authorities have set up 147 roadblocks nationwide to monitor interstate travels. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 — A total of 1,248 vehicles attempting to cross interstate lines on the excuse that they wanted to “return to their hometown” were ordered to turn back by the police. The figure was double that from the previous day.

Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said authorities had set up 147 roadblocks nationwide to monitor interstate travels with 218,027 vehicles checked yesterday.

“This figure is almost double of those who tried to return to their hometown unnoticed with various excuses given. 

“As I have said yesterday, there is no need to attempt to go back to your hometown after sahur with your wife and children in tow and then be ordered to turn back at the roadblock. Alhamdulillah, the authorities only asked them to turn back. Let’s say if they issued a RM1,000 fine, the one that is at a disadvantage is themselves,” he said in a press conference here today.

Ismail Sabri later reiterated that those caught can be punished under Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988, and will face compounding or be brought to court.

Yesterday, Ismail Sabri had disclosed that 508 vehicles were ordered by the police to go back the way they came.

This comes after authorities began implementing roadblocks near major tolls on highways nationwide to enforce the ban on state border crossing during the conditional movement control order (MCO) period.

On those who managed to ‘escape’ the said roadblocks, Ismail Sabri pointed out that it was not guaranteed they will be successful in their next attempt should they choose to return to their workplace in the cities.

“For now, be patient. I understand we all miss our hometowns but be patient because our health is more important,” he said.

Ismail Sabri also revealed that 132 individuals were arrested and remanded by the police yesterday for flouting CMCO rules.

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