KUALA LUMPUR, May 26 — The words ‘never give up’ are usually meant to infuse a positive spirit in a person to keep doing whatever he does, yet now, it seems to encourage people to continue violating the no-interstate travel ban imposed by the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO).
Despite the constant reminders that such travel was an offence under the standard operating procedure (SOP) of the CMCO, there are still those who doggedly attempt it, despite the possibility of earning a compound for their efforts.
In a press conference yesterday, Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob revealed that the number of vehicles ordered to turn back after they tried to cross state lines rose to 1,243 on May 24 compared to the day before, besides the 14 people who have been issued compounds after committing the offence and are already in their hometowns to celebrate Aidilfitri.
Ismail Sabri said there were some people who did not believe when he said police would make their rounds during Hari Raya, and would track down even those who slipped through the rat trails.
Aidilfitri is a day of victory for Muslims after fasting for a month, but for Malaysia, this day is when the country is free of COVID-19. And when this will be is still unknown.
So it is imperative that everyone adhere to the SOP and stop breaking the law by going across states, in order to curb the spread of COVID-19, and to ensure that no new clusters are created because of this irresponsible behaviour.
Yesterday, 172 new COVID-19 cases were recorded in the country, with the majority being illegal immigrants who were detained at three immigration detention centres, bringing the cumulative total so far to 7,417.
According to Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, the total number of patients who have recovered and been discharged from the wards was 5,979, with the number of deaths still at 115.
Hari Raya visiting was permitted only on the first day of Aidilfitri under strict standard operating procedures (SOPs), while the public is still prohibited from travelling interstate.
Compounds have already been issued to those breaching the Hari Raya SOPs and among the offenders was a houseowner in Taman Selayang Mutiara, Batu Caves, here.
The 35-year-old man who was slapped with a compound for having far too many people in his house claimed he was not aware of the 20-visitors limit and that the Hari Raya visits were only allowed on Sunday.
Unfortunately for a 19-year-old lad who happened to visit the house today, his hope to get a taste of some Raya delicacies was hampered.
He had just arrived at the house compounds with a friend on a motorcycle, when personnel from the Gombak police headquarters made a surprise check on the premises.
According to the youth, all he wanted was to join in the festive celebration as he could not return to his hometown in Pasir Mas, Kelantan.
“At first I was hesitant about coming here as I was aware that visits are only allowed on the first day, but I was longing for the traditional Raya dishes,” he said.
Selangor Criminal Investigation Department chief SAC Datuk Fadzil Ahmat said on inspection, 18 people were found gathered in the house which was a violation of the CMCO SOP and as such, a compound notice was issued.
Meanwhile in Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan, four compound notices were issued to individuals who attempted to travel interstate, without permission, on the first day of Hari Raya, last Sunday.
District police chief Supt Aidi Sham Mohamed said the compounds were issued during a roadblock at KM 26, Jalan Lukut-Port Dickson at the Port Dickson-Sepang, Selangor border.
“Among the offenders was a family of four, said to be travelling from Sepang to Melaka when according to their identity cards their home address is in Melaka,” he said.
In Terengganu, state police chief Datuk Roslee Chik said inspections were conducted in 31 villages, and 21 housing estates where 42 families were questioned on the first day of Aidilfitri.
However no compound notices were issued in the East Coast state, as the offenders were let off with a verbal warning.