KUALA LUMPUR: Those stranded in other states due to the movement control order (MCO) which came into effect today and wish to return home can do so until Friday.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador said yesterday he has directed his personnel to use discretion when enforcing the MCO in such cases.
“There may be families away from home and stranded in other states. In these 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 trains and buses. If you are stopped at the checkpoints, explain your situation to the personnel. I have directed my personnel to use wide discretion in such cases,” he said at a press conference in Bukit Aman yesterday.
Abdul Hamid also said those who have had action taken 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 complaint will be investigated 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 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 studying other locations to mount checkpoints.
“We have about 48,000 personnel who will go on duty and another 12,000 on standby,” he said, adding that 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, Armed Forces and other agencies to carry out patrols to enforce the lockdown.
“We do not wish to inconvenience or hassle the public. We will try our best to make it as easy and convenient as possible for everyone.
“We understand the hardship of the people and how this is affecting them. However, the daily numbers of those tested positive for Covid-19 are worrying and it is only appropriate that measures are taken to contain the pandemic.”
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 yesterday, 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, police will mount roadblocks at seven locations 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, at the Damansara toll plaza towards Bayu Puteri, near Merchant Square in 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 Jalan PJU 8/1 traffic lights and the Mutiara Damansara/Damansara Perdana interchange of the Damansara-Puchong highway.
“We advise the public to stay home to help break the Covid-19 pandemic chain.”