No mass return of Malaysians from Singapore following the latter’s decision to extend ‘circuit breaker’ to June 1, says defence minister
by ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN/ pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
THOSE who wish to make interstate travel from their hometowns to Kuala Lumpur (KL) or other city centres can apply online or register at the police station beginning April 25.
Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the move will help the government take note of public interest before it decides to temporarily uplift a blanket ban on interstate travel. This comes amid requests from people who are required to return to the city to work.
“As a first step, we will require them to register online via the Gerak Malaysia app on April 25. They will have to provide details of their travel plans.
“Those without mobile access can report to the nearest police station by appointment to avoid crowds,” he said at his daily briefing yesterday.
The registration, however, does not guarantee that the travel ban will be lifted. Ismail Sabri said the final decision will be made after May 1 upon the advice of the Health Ministry.
“For now, we will study whether it is feasible or not,” he added.
On Tuesday, the government said it was considering the possibility of allowing nearly 100,000 students stranded at higher learning institutions nationwide to return home. This would require a strict set of measures to be formulated which would include health screenings and transport arrangements.
“Unlike students at universities, it is difficult for us to gauge the amount of people who would like to return to their homes in the city from their hometowns. So, the registration process will help us plan the movement,” Ismail Sabri said.
In his daily report yesterday, Ismail Sabri said 865 individuals were arrested on Tuesday for violating the Movement Control Order (MCO). This brings the total number of arrests to 17,735 since the start of the movement curb.
The third phase of the MCO is scheduled to end on April 28. Another round of extension is possible although an official decision has not been made so far.
Muslims in the country are expected to usher in the month of Ramadhan tomorrow.
“I’m sure there will be plenty of preparations made to celebrate the holy month. I would like to advise all Muslims to monitor MCO rules, maintain good hygiene and practise social distancing at all times,” Ismail Sabri said.
He also said there are enough rice, vegetables and other essential daily items in stock.
Meanwhile, the minister said the country has not seen a mass return of its citizens from Singapore following the latter’s decision to extend its “circuit breaker” to June 1.
“To date, we have not seen any mass returns because factories are still operational in Singapore. The Singapore government has also allowed them to remain there.
“However, the Human Resources Ministries of both countries will negotiate whether those given unpaid leave will be returning or whether their return will be conducted in stages,” he said, adding that the government has 10,000 rooms to be used for quarantine should they return en masse.