Expect armed “guests” to make house calls during Gawai, Raya

Sinar Harian photo

By Chew Lip Song

THE police and army will be stepping up surveillance during the upcoming festives to ensure hosts keep to the 20 people per house limit for visitations.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said while it would be impossible for unformed personnel to check every home, authorities would make rounds in every area, FMT reported.

“If they find a lot of vehicles parked outside a particular residence, they will check how many people are in the house.

“If there are a lot of cars, it might also be that there are a lot of people,” he said in a press conference here today.

He also said the National Security Council (NSC) in its meeting today had agreed to let athletes continue their training for the “Road to Tokyo 2020” programme.

This will involve 265 people including 57 athletes who will be preparing for the Olympic and Paralympic games in Tokyo.

These will be housed at three different training camps: the Bukit Jalil sports complex (181 individuals), Malaysia Badminton Academy in Bukit Kiara (56 individuals) and the National Sailing Training Centre in Langkawi (28 individuals).

Ismail said the athletes would need to follow strict standard operating procedures (SOP) throughout their training.

“As soon as they register, they must undergo a swab test. Only those found negative can begin training. Anybody found positive will be sent to the hospital.”

He said the youth and sports ministry would utilise a quarantine approach in which those housed at the three centres will not be allowed to leave for 30 days.

“Before they leave the training centre they will be swabbed one more time,” he said, adding that social distancing must be practised during training sessions.

Ismail also revealed an increasing number of people being caught attempting to travel to other states to return to their home towns in time for Hari Raya. Yesterday, police asked 1,633 drivers caught at roadblocks to turn back.

So far, 149 interstate roadblocks have been set up with 250,891 vehicles checked.

“The police are still taking on a compassionate approach,” he said, adding that they might start taking legal action against those caught attempting to travel to other states.

“Even travel between the peninsula and Sabah and Sarawak is not allowed except with permission from the police. Therefore, before buying your air ticket, please request for police permission.”

Ismail also said 127 people had been arrested for breaching the SOP under the conditional movement control order (CMCO), 124 of whom were remanded. Fifteen people were given compounds.

As of today, he said, 17,482 people are undergoing quarantine at 256 centres nationwide.

On another matter, he said last night the higher education ministry sent 418 students back to their respective home towns on three flights from Kuala Lumpur to Bintulu, Miri and Sibu.

Since April 27, the ministry has sent 49,437 students back home.