KUALA LUMPUR – The public will once again face roadblocks set up by the police as was implemented on March 18 last year, following the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO) which begins at 12.01 am (Jan 13).
Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said roadblocks this time would be more stringent, with police personnel assisted by members of the armed forces to ensure compliance.
“Roadblocks will return as before, and now, they will be in all areas, including those under the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) and the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO).
“Although the MAF (Malaysian Armed Forces) has similar powers to the police (to impose roadblocks if necessary) under the new emergency ordinance, but we (MAF) have agreed that we will only help,” said Ismail Sabri, who is also Defence Minister.
In Selangor, the North Klang District Police will conduct three roadblocks, and close four roads.
North Klang District Police chief ACP Nurulhuda Mohd Salleh said the three roadblocks were – at the North Klang Valley Expressway in front of the AEON Bukit Raja Shopping Mall; Bukit Raja Toll Plaza (heading from Klang to Shah Alam) and Batu 10 Jalan Kapar (from Kuala Selangor to Klang).
In Johor, state chief Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said a total 51 roadblocks would be set up throughout the state involving the deployment of 1,040 police personnel, adding that the enforcement of standard operating procedures during the MCO would also be intensified.
In Perak, state police chief Datuk Mior Faridalathrash Wahid said 16 roadblocks would be set up at the state’s borders from midnight, and 352 SOP compliance monitoring teams would be deployed throughout the state to ensure compliance with the CMCO.
Meanwhile, in Penang, state police chief Datuk Sahabudin Abd Manan said 39 roadblocks would be carried out involving 1,142 policemen, soldiers, as well as members of the People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela) and the Malaysian Civil Defence Force throughout the implementation of the MCO in the state.
“Apart from conducting inspections at the roadblocks, monitoring would also be done at premises, including tourist and recreation areas,” he said.
In Tawau, Sabah, the police will implement nine roadblocks, with its district police chief ACP Peter Umbuas reminding the public not to leave the house without a valid reason.
He said the roadblocks would be held at Kilometre 50 Check Point; Jalan Tiku; Batu 2 1/2 Jalan Apas; Jalan Kuhara; Jalan Tawau Lama; Jalan Tanjung Batu; Jalan Utara; Jambatan Putih intersection; and Road Chek Point (RCP) at Jalan Kalabakan.
In Terengganu, state police chief Datuk Roslee Chik said five roadblocks, including at the state’s borders, would be carried out under the CMCO.
“We have 544 personnel to conduct roadblocks and patrols in all the places including village areas. I really hope all parties can understand the purpose of these restrictions and abide by the SOPs that have been set,” he said, adding that the roadblocks would be located in Kemaman (Perasing Rest and Recuperation (R&R) area, Paya Berenjut and Tol Cheneh) and Besut (Pachakan and Tok Saboh).
In Pahang, state police chief Datuk Seri Abd Jalil Hassan said there was a sufficient number of personnel to carry out the roadblocks even though many were already serving on the field due to the floods that have hit nine districts in the state.
He said control at the state border would also be intensified, with roadblocks expected at over 20 areas.
In Negeri Sembilan, a total of 17 roadblocks will be implemented, including in Lubok China / Melaka, Sungai Lui/Pahang, Tampin/Melaka and Port Dickson/Sepang as well as at the toll plaza exit and entry from the North-South Expressway (PLUS) at Pedas, Seremban/Labu toll, Nilai/PLUS toll, Pajam/Mantin toll and Setul/Lekas toll.
Negeri Sembilan Police chief Datuk Mohamad Mat Yusop said 150 police personnel would be assigned to control the entry and exit routes to the state with the assistance of 140 MAF personnel, as well as 60 Rela members.
Starting at midnight, any individual entering Kelantan on urgent business must furnish a letter saying he is COVID-19 negative following which he will wear a pink wristband for the purpose of quarantine for 10 days.
State Local Government, Housing and Health Committee, chairman Dr Izani Husin said it was an additional condition, apart from the letter of permission from the autorities, to curb the growing COVID-19 outbreak in the state.
“These individuals must show their COVID-19 free swab test result letters to the authorities at the roadblocks at the entrance to the state.
“Then they will wear the wristband and undergo a 10-day quarantine in the state first. We do not want any infection from outside clusters that can cause a transmission,” he told reporters after a special meeting of the State Security Working Committee in Kota Darulnaim. here, today chaired by Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yakob.
Izani said based on the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the state, the state government would open two more COVID-19 Quarantine and Low Risk Treatment Centres (PKRC) here and in Gua Musang.
He said Kelantan now recorded 1,393 cases with 18 clusters and expressed frustration with the increase when the people were seen as uncaring and took the risk of the epidemic lightly.
Leave for all policemen meanwhile has been frozen with immediate effect following a surge in COVID-19 cases and the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO) from tomorrow, said Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador.
He said the directive was issued to ensure maximum police strength in enforcing the MCO and to monitor the compliance of the standard operating procedure (SOP) set by the Ministry of Health (MOH).
“Only those with emergency matters will be given leeway to apply for leave and we are very sympathetic to the families of policemen who died due to COVID-19… it is hoped that by freezing their leave, we will be able to provide a line-up of personnel committed to ensuring SOP compliance by the public.
“I have heard the briefing (on the surge in COVID-19 cases) by the Health director-general (Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah) and, as a result, we can see that the decision to implement the MCO is appropriate,” he told a special press conference at Bukit Aman here.
Abdul Hamid said the situation would be worse if the MCO was not implemented and drastic action not taken immediately, adding that the National Security Council (MKN) had made the right decision by implementing the MCO from tomorrow.
Asked about roadblocks following the implementation of the MCO, Abdul Hamid said district and state police chiefs and police commissioners were working on suitable sites to set up the roadblocks in their respective states.
“I expect more than 300 roadblocks, with the possibility of double that number depending on the situation.
“These roadblocks do not include the 56 existing ones stipulated under Ops Benteng,” he said.
Abdul Hamid said 48,000 policemen were expected to be on duty during the MCO, with 12,000 more on standby.
“Individuals working in essential services need not worry about inter-state travels as they only need to show their employers’ letter at the roadblocks and I believe my men will use their discretion,” he said.