Home minister hits out at those abusing permits given to transport essential goods

Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin says the government will ensure supply of essential foodstuff to supermarkets will go on smoothly.

PETALING JAYA: Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin revealed that there are parties abusing permits given out by the government for them to carry out essential services during the movement control order (MCO) in place until April 14.

Hamzah said this is a new problem now that the rakyat are starting to comply with the MCO by staying at home.

“A bigger problem is with essential service providers. We will continue to allow people to deliver or supply food but there are those who abuse this privilege.

“I told police that we must be more strict so that only those who truly have permits given out by logistics companies or those who have permission from specific committees are allowed to operate.

“All this is to ensure the supply chain of food to the supermarkets is carried out as best as possible. Don’t abuse permits that we give out,” he said at a forum titled “Covid-19 movement control order” on the Ruang Bicara segment on Bernama this evening.

However, the minister did not elaborate on how these permits were being abused.

Hamzah said since the MCO was implemented, 38,000 police personnel, or 30% of the police force, had been sent out to help conduct roadblocks nationwide. This, he said, was a huge number and had taken manpower away from other police duties.

Hamzah said the deployment of the armed forces had helped to decrease the workload of policemen.

“Many say illegal immigrants are affected by Covid-19. Is this true? Don’t make the public panic even more. We are always strict,” pointing out the 10,000 foreigners in immigration depots waiting to be sent home.

He said there were also 16,000 foreigners serving out sentences for various offences in Malaysian prisons.