Ramadan balik kampung a no-no, says minister

Tens of thousands of city dwellers went back to their home towns before the start of the movement control order on March 18.

PUTRAJAYA: The government says it will not allow people to return to their home towns to celebrate the start of the Ramadan fasting month.

However, authorities are still mulling whether to allow those who returned to their home towns at the start of the movement control order (MCO) last month to come back, pending a registration exercise with the police.

“For these people, they have been trapped in their home towns for a month,” said Senior Minister for Security Ismail Sabri Yaakob during his daily press briefing on Covid-19 security measures.

He added that the government would only make a decision once there is data on the number of people planning to get back to the cities.

Meanwhile, Ismail also announced that public transport can operate longer hours during Ramadan, from 4am to 10pm compared to 5am to 10pm previously.

Public markets will also be allowed to open longer, from 6am to 2pm.

Ismail said the longer hours were for the convenience of Muslims who might need to prepare for the fasting month.

On vehicle registration, he said commercial vehicles in need of checks by Puspakom can do so on an appointment basis.

“They can do online registrations,” he added. “If the vehicles need to be sent to Puspakom, they need to make an appointment.”

So far, 18,498 people have been arrested for violating the MCO.

Yesterday, 763 people were arrested, 648 of whom were remanded and 115 released on police bail. Eight hundred and sixty people have been charged in court.

There were 835 roadblocks conducted nationwide with checks on 81,942 vehicles and 6,658 premises.

A total of 3,585 areas including government buildings, public spaces, business centres and supermarkets have been sanitised since March 30 in 113 zones including 30 red zones.

A total of 15,880 Malaysians have been quarantined at 201 quarantine centres, compared to 196 centres yesterday.

“Yesterday, 535 Malaysians returned home and are currently going through mandatory quarantine,” Ismail said.

Since April 17, a total of 4,908 Malaysians have been discharged from quarantine centres.

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