Smooth traffic flow on major highways

by TMR/ pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

THE first day of interstate travel for Gerak Malaysia applicants to return home after being stranded at various locations in Kuala Lumpur following the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO) since March 18 saw smooth traffic flow on major expressways and at toll plazas leaving out of the federal capital.

Bernama reported that a Malaysian Highway Authority (MHA) spokesperson said they are expecting 300,000 vehicles on its expressways during the interstate movement between yesterday and Sunday.

“This morning (Thursday), major expressways like the PLUS Expressway, East Coast Highway (LPT) 1 and LPT2, and the Kuala Lumpur-Karak Expressway were still smooth moving and no congestion was reported.

“However, we expect traffic volume to increase in the afternoon or after the breaking of fast,” he said when contacted yesterday.

Meanwhile, checks by Bernama also found traffic movement at the Jalan Duta Toll (northbound), Sungai Besi Toll Plaza (southbound) and at Gombak Toll Plaza heading towards the east coast was smooth until 1pm.

It is also found that most of the motorists started their journey after 10am, which is after the peak hour. One of the motorists met at the Jalan Duta Toll Plaza, Hayati Roslan, said she was stranded in Kuala Lumpur and was returning to Baling in Kedah.

“I did as advised by the authorities — ensure sufficient balance in my Touch ‘n Go card and fuel for the journey which is expected to take five hours.

“I also brought along some light food for the breaking of fast,” she added.

As of yesterday, a total of 143,516 applications through the Gerak Malaysia application were approved by the police for those seeking to return home to their respective home states.

Separately, Bernama reported that the Sabah government will implement the Conditional MCO in stages in accordance with the Health Ministry’s standard operating procedures.

Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said the sectors allowed to operate are agriculture and food industry (and related activities), manufacturing (and related activities) and logistics operations such as land transportation, jetties and ports.

“The state government has also agreed for factories and oil palm plantations in Lahad Datu, Kunak and Kinabatangan to resume operations subject to Covid-19 clearance by the Sabah Health Department.

“The government takes note of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures within Infected Local Areas) (No 5) Regulations 2020 which took effect from May 4 until May 12 under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342),” he said in a statement yesterday.

Mohd Shafie stressed that the safety and wellbeing of the people remain the state government’s priority.

Before this, the Sabah government had said it would stick to its decision to continue with the MCO in an effort to contain the Covid-19 pandemic in Sabah.