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Police discretion on interstate travel until Friday

12 Jan 2021 / 22:01 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Those stranded in other states due to the movement control order (MCO) which comes into effect at 12.01am tomorrow and wish to return to their homes can do so until Friday.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador (pix) said today that he has directed his personnel to use their discretion when enforcing the MCO in such cases.

“There might be families away from home and stranded in other states. In this cases, we have agreed to allow them to return on the first or second day (of the MCO) or perhaps until Friday. This includes those travelling by public transportation such as train and bus. If you are stopped at the checkpoints, explain your situation to the personnel. I have directed my personnel to use wise discretion in such cases,“ he said in a a press conference at Bukit Aman this evening.

Abdul Hamid said those who have had action taking against them for breaching the MCO but felt they were unfairly penalised can approach federal police at Bukit Aman and appeal against the action.

He said the appeal or complaints will be investigated and studied before the next course of action is decided.

Abdul Hamid said in the preliminary stages of the MCO, about 300 checkpoints are expected to be mounted nationwide, mainly at the exit points of toll plazas and federal roads that link states or districts.

“This includes the 56 checkpoints which are currently active. We will continue adding roadblocks during the MCO and state police chiefs are in the midst of studying other locations to mount the checkpoints. We have about 48,000 personnel who will go on duty and another 12,000 of them on standby,“ he said, adding that the leave of a large number of personnel has been frozen due to the MCO.

He said there were about 700 checkpoints across the country when the MCO was declared in March last year.

Abdul Hamid said there are also 2,700 surveillance teams made up of personnel from the police, the armed forces and other agencies that will carry out patrols to enforce the lockdown.

“We do not wish to incovenience or hassle the public with the MCO. We will try our best to make it as easy and convenient for everyone. We understand the hardship of the people and how this is affecting them in many ways.

“However, the daily numbers of those tested positive for Covid-19 are worrying and it is only appropriate measures are taken to contain the pandemic,“ he said.

Abdul Hamid also said that there are proposals to increase the penalties and to further tighten the law for those who flout the MCO.

He said a higher fine can serve as a deterrent and he will leave the decision to the relevant ministry.

As for the Emergency declared today, Abdul Hamid said there are no changes or enhancements to police powers.

“No, there have been no changes and the Emergency declaration does not make any difference to police duties or powers,“ he said.

Meanwhile, in Petaling Jaya, district police here will mount roadblocks at seven locations here to enforce the MCO.

Petaling Jaya police chief ACP Nik Ezanee Mohd Faisal said there will be three roadblocks in Kota Damansara, two in Damansara Perdana and one each in Petaling Jaya and Damansara.

He said the checkpoints are at Jalan 4/56, Gasing Indah here; at the Damansara toll plaza towards Bayu Puteri near Merchant Square, Tropicana.

At Kota Damansara, the checkpoints will be at Jalan Persiaran Mahogani; Jalan Persiaran Sungai Buloh and Jalan Persiaran Jati while in Damansara Perdana it will be set up at the Jalan PJU 8/1 traffic lights and the Mutiara Damansara/Damansara Perdana interchange of the Damansara-Puchong highway (LDP).

“We wish to advise the public to stay home to help break the Covid-19 pandemic chain,“ he said

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