Fewer people travelling interstate after cops issue compound fines

Police are turning back motorists intent on ‘balik kampung’ for Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

PUTRAJAYA: The number of people caught travelling interstate for Aidilfitri has dropped after the government announced on-the-spot compound fines for this offence to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Yesterday, 1,613 were caught travelling interstate, compared with 2,539 motorists two days ago.

Senior Minister (Security) Ismail Sabri Yaakob, during the daily press briefing, warned that police will continue to take stern action against those caught for this offence.

The state with the most number of motorists trying to break the interstate travel ban was Selangor (with 329 cases), followed by Kedah (212) and Penang (196).

The North-South Expressway had seen an increase in traffic on Thursday, with thousands of cars on the highway.

Ismail said the government was aware that some are not comfortable with the government over SOPs implemented during the Aidilfitri celebrations.

But he urged everyone to understand the reasons behind the rules and not allowing people to gather in crowds to break the virus infection chain.

“We can still celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri with our immediate families. But follow the SOPs,” he said.

The government has banned interstate travelling, unless on grounds of emergencies such as deaths, and immediate family members are only allowed to visit on the first day of Raya (Sunday), with less than 20 people in a home, depending on its size.

“Activities in groups are not allowed. Any action that can lead to a gathering is not allowed.”

He advised parents to take only one or two of their children to the playground.

“But they are not allowed to be in a crowd,” he said, adding that even fishing is allowed but if the place gets crowded, then action can be taken

Ismail said enforcement authorities were on the alert for illegals trying to sneak into the country to get jobs as factories will start operating after Aidilfitri.

Over the past few days, 287 illegals were picked up along the west coast of the peninsula, the Malaysia-Thai border and Sarawak-Indonesia border.

Ismail said Malaysian embassies overseas are also in the midst of collecting information on those returning to Malaysia.

“This will make it easier to manage. We do not know how many will be returning,” he said, adding that as of now, 400 Malaysians from Singapore are allowed to enter daily.

Ismail was also asked if interstate travelling is allowed for those who need to attend interviews or are offered jobs in different states.

He said these interviews can be conducted online while those who need to report to work in different states could get permission from the police.

Malaysia has recorded 115 deaths and 7,137 cases, out of which 1,163 are still undergoing treatment.


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