Following the announcement of phase two for the enforcement of the movement control order (MCO), more questions are now being asked of road users at road blocks which have been put up to limit unnecessary travel.

Effective today, more road blocks will be put in place, while operating hours for all supermarkets, restaurants doing takeaways and petrol stations are now limited between 8am and 8pm across the board.

Enforcement at road blocks in the first phase were sometimes cursory, but have now become more stringent, with police officers checking on road users more intently, often asking for identification, travel origin and destination as well as proof of residence. As videos of roadblock operations have shown, cops are also asking passengers in taxis for reasons why they are out, so it’s not just those in private vehicles that are being asked.

At present, more than 67,000 police, army and Rela personnel have currently been deployed for MCO operations, but defence minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has said that more resources are available for introduction at any point if the situation demands it.

Additionally, while a new federal gazette in effect from today until April 14 now limits one’s travel to within 10 km from one’s home, we have been informed that some residents in the Kota Damansara area have been told by police to limit the range of their travel to 3-5 km.

Limited operation hours for public transport continue as last scheduled, from 6am to 10am and from 5pm to 10pm daily, while taxis and ride-hailing vehicles will be allowed to operate from 6am to 10pm and food delivery from 8am to 8pm. For private individual vehicles, the ruling of one person per car remains in place.

As before, there is room for improvement with the public’s compliance to the MCO. Excuses previously encountered by the police at roadblocks include needing to go to the office to water the plant, sending a cake, buying a newspaper and coming out to buy lunch, and people have been driving out of the way to get the strangest things.

Some road users who failed to show proof of residence that corresponds with that stated to the police, have been ordered to turn around at the roadblock. As of Sunday, 828 have been arrested for various offences relating to the MCO. The aim is the same as before – to get people to comply with the movement control order, and stay put where they are.

Once again, we’d like to remind all to travel only when absolutely necessary to get food and medical supplies, to make it quick and limit the distance travelled for these purposes. Food delivery services are a viable option, in a bid to heed to government’s call to stay at home.

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