If you don’t already know, we’re now in the second phase of the movement control order (MCO) that was enacted to flatten the Covid-19 curve. The goal is to keep people at home so and break the coronavirus’ chain of transmission.

The police has ramped up measures and enforcement in phase two of the MCO that started from April 1, setting up fresh permanent roadblock locations as well as sealing off entry and exit points to areas. Subang and Gombak police districts are among those that have seen the cops visibly step up their MCO game to restrict people’s movement.

As a result, some checkpoints have seen traffic congestion, causing some frustration to motorists. However, one should not blame the police for this, for they are doing what they have to do, ultimately for Malaysia’s own good, said inspector-general of police (IGP) Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador.

“We have to set up roadblocks across the country to curb the spread of Covid-19, as well as restrict the people’s movement. I advise the public, for those who are not in the list of the essential service sector to understand the MCO regulations and that they have to go through the roadblocks,” he told Bernama today.

The top cop urged patience. “The people should not complain about trivial issues such as traffic congestion of 10 to 15 minutes on highways or in the town centres. They should think about the traffic congestion on highways and in KL before MCO was enforced – don’t blame the roadblocks for the traffic congestion now,” he added.

Abdul Hamid expressed regret over the attitude of some in criticising the force for mounting roadblocks, and advised his men and women to maintain their patience and professionalism.

“Alhamdulillah, they showed a high level of patience in dealing with this issue (accepting criticism). The public should remember that my men, members of the armed forces and from other authorities who are on duty at roadblocks are also exposed to the risk of Covid-19. They are all working to help stop the spread of Covid-19,” he said.

The good news is that the more stringent enforcement is working. Recently, the cops and the court made an example out of some joyriders, and the woman who totally lost it at the Mutiara Damansara to Kota Damansara roadblock has also faced the music.

As a reminder, in MCO phase two, supermarkets, grocers, restaurants providing takeaways and petrol stations are all limited to 8am-8pm operating hours, and the same goes for food delivery services. Public transport operation hours are now from 6am to 10am and 5pm to 10pm daily, while taxis and ride-hailing vehicles will be permitted to operate from 6am to 10pm.

You’re getting the hang of it, so continue to heed the call to stay at home, and if you do venture out, be mindful of the 10 km limit for the radius of travel and adhere to the one-person-per-car rule. Also, bring your utility bills as proof of residence.

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