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Sunday, May 30, 2021

You can’t lie to Covid-19, Ismail Sabri warns travellers


Almost 200,000 people returned to their kampungs under various excuses during the Raya period, says Ismail Sabri Yaakub. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Senior minister for security Ismail Sabri Yaakob has urged the public to only apply for interstate and inter-district travel permits from the police if they have legitimate reasons, as they believe not everyone is telling the truth.

“You may be able to lie to the police, but you can’t lie to Covid-19,” he said at a press conference today, pointing out that almost 200,000 people had evaded police during the Raya period, which caused a rise in Covid-19 cases and many deaths.

If travel bans had not been in force, infection numbers today would be in the range of 13-15,000 cases a day, he said.

He added that there had already been instances where the police had denied issuing a permit because they doubted the veracity of the request, and that approvals will only be granted for work purposes or if one’s relatives are critically ill or have passed away.

Because of this, the police are now exercising extreme caution when issuing permits, which “unfortunately, affects individuals with genuine reasons for a permit, and in some cases by the time police have issued one their parents have already passed.”

“We regret these incidents but is it caused by the sheer number of non-genuine applications.”

In reference to Hari Raya, he said that based on the sudden surges in cases in certain states, the data suggested there were instances of people obtaining permits in order to balik kampung.

“When we established roadblocks during the Raya period, lots of people were angry and did all sorts of things to be able to return to their kampungs.

“We believe almost 200,000 people returned to their kampungs during this period under various excuses and as a result there have been many Covid-19 cases including deaths in families as a result of returning to their kampungs.”

He said if travel bans were not in force during the festive period, cases today would be in the range of 13,000 to 15,000. - FMT

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