Indonesians rushing to balik kampung


JOHOR BARU: Scores of Indonesians who are working here have been making a beeline to the Kukup International Ferry Terminal since the first day of the movement control order (MCO) to return to their home country.

Some 6,000 Indonesian nationals working here are expected to go back to their country through the ferry terminal, said Johor police chief Comm Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay.

“From the information we have acquired, some 1,600 of the 6,000 Indonesian workers have gone back to Indonesia since the first day of the MCO.

“We have discussed with the Johor Public Transport Corporation to increase the number of trips to Tanjung Balai to reduce the number of people at the terminal, as many are still there to buy tickets and board the ferry, ” he said.

There are currently four trips to Tanjung Balai daily, and each trip can carry about 170 passengers at a time.

“We are trying to add two more trips to the existing four, ” he said, adding that the workers would not be stopped from going back to their home country.

Earlier, Pontian OCPD Supt Mustafa Bakri Salleh said the exodus began from the first day of the MCO as many of the workers, including those working in factories around Johor, were given off during the period.

“Temperature checks and other precautionary measures from both the state Health Department as well as from the Indonesian side have been put in place at the checkpoint since the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak, ” he said.

Meanwhile, Tanjung Piai MP Datuk Seri Dr Wee Jeck Seng said he has been receiving complaints from villagers in the area who are concerned about the crowd building up at the terminal.

“They are worried the huge crowd can lead to the spread of Covid-19. I have spoken to the relevant authorities for assistance to handle the situation and address the concerns of the people, ” he said.

Wee had earlier posted photos of the crowd on his Facebook page.

He added that he has contacted Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad, the Pontian district officer and Pontian OCPD to take the necessary action following the incident.

“The Mentri Besar has told the National Security Council and state Immigration Department to assist in the situation, ” he said.

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