Confusion on ground as those manning roadblocks do not accept MOT letters for transport services

PETALING JAYA: It is day two of the lockdown, but there is still confusion, especially at roadblocks.

SME Association of Malaysia president Datuk Michael Kang said he has received feedback that Transport Ministry (MOT) letters were not approved for the moving of essential goods.

“Everyone is confused. There have been a lot of complaints on Tuesday (June 1) and Wednesday (June 2), ” he said.

He added the directive given seemed to differ at different roadblocks, with some insisting on letters from the International Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti), alongside the MOT approval letter.

Some even requested for a few letters from the various ministries, said Kang.

He said there was a possibility that the supply chain for food and essential items could be disrupted, if those manning the roadblocks were unclear about what has been decided by Putrajaya.

MOT had said on Tuesday (June 1) that drivers and attendants of express buses, lorries, and other commercial vehicles under the essential services category, whose nature of business require interstate travel, only need to apply for an approval letter through the Smile system as valid travel permission.

It said that holders of MOT’s approval letters do not require additional letters of permission to travel inter-state during the lockdown period from June 1 to 14.

The President of Federation of Malaysian Freight Forwarders Alvin Chua said some of their members had received warning that their MOT letter was not valid.

"It is really crazy," he said, adding that a lot of time was being wasted.

He said that the MOT letters had been used all this while, with added confusion after Miti said they would reissue all work permission letters for interstate and inter-district travel.

He said there were issues in Port Klang as well, with local government authorities not accepting MOT letters as well.

"The port is the backbone of the economy. If it stops, everything stops and it will be jammed up.

Ships will stop coming in and this will have a huge impact," he said.

Association of Malaysian hauliers president Soo Chee Yeong said there seemed to be a lot of confusion in Port Klang, with local authorities insisting on approval from Miti.

This is despite the logistic sector coming under the MOT.

He said several warehouses and factories were impacted.

"There have been a lot of complaints. This is the problem when the policy and enforcement are not in line," he said, adding that there was a need to follow the SOP in place.

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