No escape for errant travellers


  • Nation
  • Monday, 18 May 2020

PUTRAJAYA: Those who managed to sneak to their hometowns to celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri may not be so lucky on their return trips.

Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (pic) said they might have passed through the interstate roadblocks once and that was it.

He said the authorities would increase its efforts to nab the selfish violators for breaking the conditional movement control order (MCO).

“Just because they managed to do so when they balik kampung, it is not a guarantee they will escape on their way back home, ” he said at his daily press conference yesterday.

Ismail Sabri said the government was very concerned at the rise in the number of those attempting to make the interstate travel despite the constant reminder that such trips were not allowed.

He said that since Friday, a total of 1,756 motorists had been ordered to turn back.

“On Friday, the police caught 508 motorists who tried to balik kampung and on Saturday another 1,248 had attempted the same.

“I have said it many times – no need to balik kampung this Hari Raya as we are still under the conditional MCO period.

“It is not worth travelling after sahur with your family only to be told to turn back.

“Our goal has always been to stop the spread of Covid-19, so we need the cooperation of everyone. Sacrifice returning to your hometowns this year for the greater good, ” he said.

Ismail Sabri also ruled out the possibility of relaxing the travel restriction as the virus has not been fully defeated yet.

“In fact, a survey by the National Security Council showed that more people prefer stricter regulations. After we announced the 20-people limit for Hari Raya visits on the first day of the celebration, many objected.

“If the regulations are relaxed further, we fear that more problems will arise, ” he added.

On the compliance operation task force, Ismail Sabri said 70,461 checks on various premises nationwide were conducted on Saturday and 132 people were detained for violating the SOP.

On Covid-19 fake news, he said 265 investigation papers had been opened so far with 178 cases still under investigation.

“Thirty people have been charged, 11 served with a warning notice and 18 others pleaded guilty.

“The authorities will not compromise with anyone who spreads fake news. Remember, even a VVIP was charged in court recently for spreading fake news. If you are unsure, don’t share, ” he said.

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