E-hailing driver issued compound notice for crossing district border in Sabah despite transporting essential worker


KOTA KINABALU: Police are checking on an appeal by an e-hailing driver who was issued a compound notice for attempting to cross district borders to send a passenger home two districts away.

Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Hazani Ghazali said as inter-district travel is not allowed even by public transports, they cannot allow the driver to cross districts.

The driver who was slapped with a RM5, 000 fine on June 12, had picked up the passenger, said to be an essential worker from Penampang and was headed to Kinarut when he was stopped at a roadblock halfway.

The driver claimed that he had all the necessary documents but policemen on duty fined him anyway.

The driver had later gone to Luyang assemblyman Phoong Jin Zhe for help.

Hazani said policemen were only following instructions as per movement control order SOPs for Sabah, and urged employers and employees alike to be aware of all SOPs.

“But we will check and find out what was the real scenario, ” he said.

He said as per SOPs, all public transports including e-hailing services are not allowed to operate out of districts unless they are dealing with emergencies.

“If we allow e-hailing operators to drive in and out of districts, then it would be unfair to other public transport operators such as taxis, vans or trains, ” Hazani said.

He said with this particular case, the person had to cross several districts from Penampang to Putatan then Kinarut.

This matter was recently highlighted by Luyang assemblyman Phoong Jin Zhe who was approached by the driver, asking for help to settle the matter.

Phoong said the driver told him that he was unaware that e-hailing drivers were not allowed to carry passengers out of districts, even though the passenger is an essential worker who has all the required permission letters.

On unrelated matters, Sabah Health Department director Datuk Dr Christina Rundi said people in enhanced MCO areas are not allowed to get out of the area throughout the enforced period unless it is an emergency, or if they are essential workers who have already tested negative for Covid-19.

She said when an area is declared under enhanced MCO, those living within the area who are from essential services must first get a swab test before they can exit and enter for work purposes.

“If screenings are conducted in the sealed-off area, those who have yet to get their results must wait inside and are not allowed to get out until their results come back negative, ” she said.

For grocery buying purposes, only one person from each household is allowed to go and purchase what they need from sundry shops or supermarkets inside the enhanced MCO area.

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