KUALA LUMPUR: The authorities will take a soft approach in enforcing the restriction of movement nationwide to allow Malaysians to adapt to the changes in their daily routine.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador said today that while there are provisions under the Penal Code which empower police to act on those who defy orders and isolation rules, police would take a subtle approach in the early stages of the exercise.
He said in the two-week restriction of movement, police hope the people will play their role in strictly observing the law by self-imposing isolation without the need of police enforcement.
“This is not a curfew. It is just a move to control movement. If the laws are not being adhered to then we will first advise, then warn and finally action will be taken. We hope everyone will cooperate or else the whole purpose of this exercise will be defeated,” he said at a press conference at Bukit Aman, after attending a high-powered meeting in Putrajaya with the National Security Council, military and other agencies.
Abdul Hamid said those who plan interstate travel are required to notify the nearest police station of the purpose of their journey.
He said the traveller will need to have a valid and urgent purpose of making such a trip before police consider issuing an approval letter.
“This is to limit movement of people and to contain the spread of the virus. Please be responsible and not selfish. If there is no urgent need to travel then stay indoors. We seek your understanding in these difficult times. Do not make unnecessary travel or take family holidays.”
Abdul Hamid said random checks will be conducted by police on motorists travelling from state to state to ascertain if they had obtained the necessary travel permit from police.
Abdul Hamid said interstate travel would only be allowed for :
- the demise of a close family member
- the ill-health of a family member
- medical treatment for one’s self or family member
He said those who wish to seek approval for the travel for other reasons may discuss the matter with the officer-in-charge of station (OCS).
Those who fail to produce the travel document during police checks can face action under laws of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 and Penal Code where the penalty is imprisonment up to two years or a fine or both.
He added that traffic police counters for settling traffic summonses will be closed during the two-week period until March 31.
He said those who intend to pay their fines urgently to renew their driving licence or road tax due to being blacklisted can do so online.
Abdul Hamid said if they are unable to pay fines online, they can seek the assistance of the district police chief or his deputy in their respective areas.
On another matter, Abdul Hamid said the police force is yet to have any positive cases of Covid-19.
However, he said seven senior police officers, 34 junior officers, two civilian staff and 11 of their family members have been placed in self-quarantine after being suspected of exposure to the virus.