PETALING JAYA: The police have set up 149 roadblocks on major routes along state borders across Peninsular Malaysia and stepped up the surveillance of “lorong tikus” or alternative routes to prevent Malaysians from balik kampung to celebrate Hari Raya.
Police have said that there would be no escape for anyone who thinks they have a way to bypass the major roadblocks manned by the police and army.
Penang police deputy chief Deputy Comm Datuk Abdul Aziz Abdul Majid said those who did not have permission for interstate travel would face compounds on the spot and ordered to turn back during the conditional movement control order (MCO).
“My advice is that if you don’t have permission, don’t cross the border, ” he said yesterday.
DCP Abdul Aziz said police would continue to monitor the situation and put up more roadblocks, if necessary, during this period.
“Since we intensified our security at the main entry points, we found that there were motorists who used alternative roads to evade the roadblocks, ” he said, adding that they would not hesitate to take action against those defying the conditional MCO.
The rules, he added, also applied to those flying interstate.
On Thursday, the National Security Council (NSC) imposed a ban on interstate travel after hundreds of people hit the roads nationwide for the balik kampung rush while others queued at police stations to request for permission to travel.
“All district police have been told to step up their dragnet on possible alternative routes.
“More surveillance and monitoring would be carried out to stop anyone from crossing the state borders.
“Even if some of them managed to sneak back home for Hari Raya, they are unlikely to escape the police on their return leg or along other interstate borders, ” a police official said.
Therefore, he added, motorists should not waste their time trying to figure out the alternative routes to beat the travel ban.
He said police were also looking at imposing heavier punishment for those who managed to sneak home but got caught on their way back.
The current fine is an on-the-spot RM1,000.
More than 8,000 motorists have been ordered to turn back since Wednesday along the state roads and highways.
The official said the district police located along these borders have also been told to step up their surveillance on the lesser-used state roads and laterite routes to prevent motorists from bypassing the roadblocks, adding that there were four main roadblocks in Melaka and Penang and 14 in Perak.
“The police stations along the borders have also been told to conduct their surveillance until after the Hari Raya celebration.”
Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah has repeatedly expressed his concern over the possibility of a new outbreak which could lead to the rise of positive Covid-19 cases after the Hari Raya celebrations if the public do not comply with the travel ban.
He had told Muslims not to balik kampung, but to stay at home and celebrate in private and avoid visiting each other.
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