KUALA LUMPUR, May 18 – As Hari Raya this Sunday draws near, more people seem to attempt to sneak across the state borders to go back to their hometowns.
Although since the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) began on May 4, the government has gradually given more leeway, there are still those who seek the loopholes in the standard operating procedure.
Last Saturday (May 16), the Royal Malaysia Police instructed the drivers of 1,248 vehicles to turn back as they attempted to slip through the roadblocks. Three days ago (May 15), it was 508 vehicles.
The people no longer have to travel alone, journeys beyond a 10-km radius are permitted, and the 10-pm travel restriction has been lifted. But interstate travel is still not allowed.
When stopped, the excuses that were given were ludicrous, just so long as the travellers get to be in their hometowns to celebrate Aidilfitri with their families and eat the special Hari Raya dishes.
The feelings are understandable as many have not seen their families since the first phase of the Movement Control Order (MCO) was introduced on March 18.
However, it must be remembered that these attempts to cut across the state borders will not only see the offenders being sentenced but they could also put their loved ones at risk.
Do not let your desire to be with your parents in the hometown and to visit relatives on Hari Raya day be the cause of regret as the old folks become infected.
As Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said, although there may be those who manage to slip through the roadblocks and reach their hometowns, they may not be as lucky when travelling back later to go back to work.
This was also highlighted by Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah who lambasted this irresponsible attitude of these people.
He said as of yesterday, there were 971 positive COVID-19 cases, (14.1 per cent of the total number of 6,894 cases) which had a history of interstate travel.
On top of that, 18 of the 49 clusters recorded in the country were connected to interstate activities. 10 of them are still active!
Today, the people will be informed of the standard operating procedure (SOP) for houses of worship during the CMCO until June 9.
The Ministry of National Unity (KPN) had informed earlier that an online meeting between its minister Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique with representatives of religious bodies discussed the proposals for the SOP drawn up by KPN with the Health Ministry.
Halimah is expected to submit the list of houses of worship in green zones which are allowed to open during the CMCO, as well as the SOP, to the National Security Council on Tuesday, May 19.