Three areas in KL put under close supervision


Under surveillance: Army personnel standing guard at Pasar Raja Bot in Chow Kit, Kuala Lumpur, which has been cordoned off with barbed wire. — AZMAN GHANI/The Star

BARBED wire at Taman Wilayah and Taman Desa Bakti in Selayang as well as Jalan

Raja Bot in Chow Kit, Kuala Lumpur, are a clear indication that these areas are under close supervision by the authorities to check the spread of Covid-19.

As these three areas have been cordoned off, people are likely to assume that they have been placed under enhanced movement control order (MCO).

However, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said that was not the case during his daily media conference yesterday.

“As long as I do not announce it, it is not enhanced MCO. We put up barbed wire at these three places to tighten the movement of residents, ” he said.

Meanwhile, Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa, at his press conference yesterday, said the three areas were under semi-enhanced MCO.

“What it means is that we do not close the area but there will be limited access points.

“People without proper documents or individuals who are at high risk (of being exposed to the virus) will not be allowed to go out.

“Health Ministry personnel will also carry out Covid-19 testing, ” he said.

At the three areas, police and army personnel were seen conducting patrols and manning entrance points while health personnel in protective gear were spotted carrying out Covid-19 screening.

In Taman Wilayah, security was tight as the whole area was cordoned off and at Taman Desa Bakti, the flats were cordoned off while roads to landed properties in the area were still accessible.

However, residents would need to prove that they live there to be allowed in while food deliveries have to be left at the entrance where police officers stood guard.

At Jalan Raja Bot, residents said the barbed wire was erected after midnight on Monday.

Kuala Lumpur Chow Kit Area Hawkers and Petty Traders Association chairman Lee Chick King said they were not told in advance of the tightened security.

“There are a lot of foreigners working at the market who live in the area so I think the authorities wanted to control their movement to stop the spread of Covid-19.

“The traders are not really affected as the market has been closed since April 29 for

disinfection and is expected to reopen on May 13, ” he said.

One of the buildings affected by the tighter security was Gurdwara Tatt Khalsa Diwan Selangor in Chow Kit.

Its president Ranmit Singh said they had sufficient food supplies to last a month.

“We have about 70 to 80 persons in the temple including priests and caretakers as well as 50 Indian nationals who have been stranded here since March 20.

“We took them in after their country halted international flights.

“The higher security here is expected as there are quite a number of Covid-19 positive cases from the market.

“I hope the government can provide free testing to all those staying here, ” he said.

Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) Corporate Planning Department director Khairul Azmir Ahmad confirmed that the installation of barbed wire around Jalan Raja Bot was to better manage human traffic in the area.

“It is just a precaution as there are about 16 positive cases. I would also like to clarify that the move to cordon off these areas was done under the instructions of the police and not by DBKL as stated by some portals, ” he said.

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