The Royal Malaysian Police has earlier issued a directive that all movements between Malaysian states will police require approval. Obviously, there’s a lot of confusion and many people have rushed to their nearest police stations to seek approval.
Just hours after that, the IGP has urged the public not to storm the police stations as they have retracted the approval requirement. With immediate effect, individuals will not be required to fill up forms to travel between states. However, the police still advise the public to reduce movement and to avoid unnecessary travel between states as much as possible.
As reported by the Malay Mail, hordes of people have flocked to their local police stations to obtain approval. There are several photos of long queues in front of police stations being circulated on social media and the definition of “interstate” wasn’t communicated clearly to the public. There are many people that work in the Klang Valley that come from different states such as Wilayah Persekutuan KL, Selangor and Negeri Sembilan. With the vast number of roads and highways that cross state borders, it isn’t clear how the police will enforce the ruling.
During the press conference, it was reported that interstate movement between KL to Selangor is considered reasonable and there’s no need to go to the station. However, Malay Mail had spotted an individual that had obtained approval to travel from Klang in Selangor to Masjid Jamek in KL.
To add to the confusion, there was a tweet from Malaysian National Security Council that said approval is needed for travel between Selangor to KL. However, the tweet has been deleted at the time of writing.
As mentioned earlier, the requirement for manual form approvals could potentially make the current situation worse as people gather in large numbers at police stations. This mass crowding is something that should be avoided to contain the spread of the virus. The last-minute announcement also causes panic as people rush to their respective states or hometown before the midnight deadline.