Many social media users asked about the standard operating procedure and clear definition of “inter-district travel”.
In Sabah, it is normal for people to travel daily from one district to another, and more so if they are near, like Penampang and Kota Kinabalu.
There are also those who travel two hours or more every day to and from work. For example, it is an hour’s drive from Kota Belud to Kota Kinabalu.
“If we need a letter from our employer, how can we prove that we are really from work and that we work where the letter states we work in?” asked one of the Sabahans.
Many also wondered whether the travel ban would be of any use since many travel from one district to another on a daily basis anyway.
“Businesses and offices are operating as usual, but inter-district travel is only for essential services. Does this mean I am not allowed to go to work? I’m confused. I have to travel from Kota Belud to Tuaran every day for work. So how does this work?” asked a mechanic.
Murib M. said it was better to just go into movement control order for these two weeks to “really let the dust settle” and for sanitising work to be conducted.
The inter-district travel ban was announced by Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob two days prior to its implementation on Oct 3 at 12.01am.
Ismail, however, did not elaborate on district borders and other details of the ban.
In giving a clearer picture of the ban, Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Hazani Ghazali said residents from Kota Kinabalu, Penampang and Putatan may travel within these three districts without any restrictions.
“Only residents from these three districts are not subjected to the inter-district travel restriction, which takes effect from 12.01am on Oct 3 until Oct 16,” he said.
There are 36 districts in Sabah, including Kota Kinabalu city and the two municipal councils of Sandakan and Tawau.
Hazani added that the police and health authorities, among others, were still looking into a mechanism to smoothen the inter-district travel restriction.
Meanwhile, Penampang OCPD Deputy Supt Haris Ibrahim said residents from Papar and Kinarut who wish to enter Penampang or Putatan would be asked to turn back.
“Only those with proper permits from the authorities are allowed through. Those who live in Kinarut or Papar but are working in Putatan have to provide a verification letter from their employer as proof,” he said.
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