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Senior Minister: 1,248 vehicles attempting to ‘balik kampung’ forced to make a U-turn

Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has shared that a total of 1,248 vehicles had attempted to travel interstate with the excuse of returning back to their hometowns yesterday. These vehicles were ordered to turn back by the police as interstate travel is still prohibited during the conditional movement control order.

According to the minister, the figure was double compared to the previous day (15th May) where 508 vehicles tried to balik kampung. A total of 147 roadblocks were set up nationwide and they have checked 218,027 vehicles.

The minister said there’s no need to attempt to go back to your hometown after sahur with your wife and children and then be ordered to turn back. He said that these travellers were lucky that they are ordered to turn back instead of being issued a RM1,000 compound. He reminded that those caught travelling interstate without permission can be punished under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988, and will face compounding or be brought to court.

He said that Hari Raya visits are allowed among closed relatives in the same state but with a limit of not more than 20 people. It is likely that most people would have 20 relatives at their hometowns and if more relatives come from interstate, that’s another violation if the gathering exceeds 20 people. As a result, those that travel interstate could receive even more fines.

He urges everyone to be patient and to adhere to the conditional movement control order. Once the number of positive cases drop further, the CMCO can be lifted and everyone will get the chance to be able to visit their respective hometowns.

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The government had initially offered a one-time interstate trip which requires approval via the Gerak Malaysia app between 7th to 10th of May 2020. This is to allow those that are stranded at their hometowns to return back to the city. After the 10th of May, interstate travel is no longer permitted unless it is for emergency purposes. Those with strong and valid reasons must apply for permission from the police stations.

According to the Ministry of Health, 18 out of 49 clusters are related to interstate travel activities. 10 out of 18 of these clusters are still active with new cases being recorded. The Health director-general had expressed concerns that more people will try to travel interstate during the upcoming festive season.

As of 12pm yesterday, there are 121 green zones, 73 yellow zones and 7 red zones. The states of Pulau Pinang, Perlis, Kedah and Kelantan are fully green statewide. Meanwhile, both Perak and Terengganu currently have one yellow zone.


Alexander Wong