Minister says ‘puzzled’ 1,175 cars still insisting on ‘balik kampung’, turned back by cops

A general view of traffic on the Federal Highway in Shah Alam during the second day of the conditional movement control order May 5, 2020. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
A general view of traffic on the Federal Highway in Shah Alam during the second day of the conditional movement control order May 5, 2020. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, May 18 — Police have ordered back 1,175 more vehicles attempting to cross interstate borders to return to their hometown yesterday, despite repeated warnings that it is not allowed.

Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said that it is baffling that so many people are still attempting to return home for the festive holidays despite the conditional movement control order which prohibits interstate travel for non essential reasons.

“Police had set up 148 roadblocks and checked 156,096 vehicles. The puzzling part is many are still trying to go back to their kampung.

“Police said that of the vehicles checked, 1,175 of their occupants used the excuse, even though there is all kinds of advice and orders issued by now. Police told them all to turn back,” he said.

“I hope that they will take the advice and return. It must be inconvenient to have to turn back,” he said during his daily press briefing today.

Yesterday, police intervened a total of 1,248 vehicles attempting to cross interstate lines on the same excuse.

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.

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 (CMCO) period.

Yesterday, police also arrested 156 individuals for not complying with standard operating procedures under the CMCO.

“104 were remanded and 52 were released on police bail,” he said.

Meanwhile, in checks operated by the Construction Industry Development Board, one construction was shut down while eight were found to be not in compliance to SOP.

Ismail Sabri said that 120 sites were checked and 15 were found in compliance while the majority — 96 — were not operational yet.

“Cumulatively, we have checked 4,183 of which 3,603 are still not operations, 425 fulfilled the SOP criteria, 150 did not fulfill the compliance, while five were shut down.

“I am bringing this up because construction sites are a concern as there were Covid-19 cases detected in such places. That is why it is important and we require mandatory screening and swab tests,” he said.

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