My Q&A with the PDRM at the roadblock that was set up in front of the Police Station on Jalan Burhanuddin Helmi, Taman Tun Dr. Ismail, Kuala Lumpur @1800 hrs on 20, March 2020. This is a personal account and not an official statement but feel free to share so everybody is informed.
Q1. Is it true the police are issuing summonses to people travelling with a passenger/s in the car, as some WhatsApp messages claimed?
A: NO SUCH THING! We aren’t even carrying our summons book. Our mission is to educate the public. Not catch anyone, much less issue summons, except for a few cases where people refused to cooperate with the police or acted in ways that disrupted the PDRM’s ability to discharge its duties. My supervisor (the commanding officer at the TTDI police station) has already filed a report on this fake message and we will be looking for the person from whom the message originated. Look out for an announcement on the ‘Polis Brickfields’ FB page on this tonight. We are not out to scare people with summonses and such. We want to educate people and make them understand and practice social distancing. We want them to cooperate with us and make the movement control order work and achieve its objectives.
Q2: So, it is ok if I drove to the shops with my wife and kids?
A: We advise against unnecessary travel. We advise people to stay home. Travel only if you need to i.e. to get essentials like groceries and necessary supplies, medicine, seek medical attention or in the event of a death. And when you travel, try to do it alone. We will not stop and issue summonses to those with more than one in the car, but we advise everyone to travel alone at this point purely to reduce chances and possibilities of spreading the virus and infection. If you can go alone, then do that. Your family can stay at home.
Q3: If I wanted to go to Kuala Selangor from Taman Tun Dr. Ismail to buy fish?
A: Again, there is no restriction on such travels but, is it necessary? If not, then don’t go. It may be okay if you go alone, but if everybody thinks like that, then it is bad. If 100 or 1,000 people think like that? It’s going to be a crowd! So, stay home and travel only when really necessary. Don’t make the situation worse.
Q4: Interstate Travel – do we still need a permit or something like that?
A: As you know, the requirement has been rescinded. But, if you need to go to another state, you need to go to the police station and tell the officer why you need to go. The officer will decide on a case-to-case basis, if the trip is permissible.
Q5: Should swimming pool condos be closed?
A: They should be. Otherwise, everyone is going to converge around and in the pool, and that is counter to purpose of social distancing. And if it is within a condo community, the virus will spread very easily to others. The condo management should look into this. If in doubt, call the police.
Q6: How about running or walking around the condo premises?
A: You can. As long as you’re not on public roads and public open spaces. When we go on patrols, we still see many runners and cyclists and we tell them to go home. Sometimes, they don’t understand why we ask them to go home, because they are running or cycling alone. The point is, if everybody ran or cycled alone, then the parks and roads will be full of them! The movement control order applies to everyone. No exemptions. So, I hope everybody can
cooperate and make it work.
Q7: The army will be out this weekend.
A: Yes, they will be out to help the police. People don’t need to be scared. They are out just to help us maintain order.
The police personnel I chatted with also had this to add: “We are only educating the public now. We are not out to scare, book or catch anyone. I just want the public to understand social distancing and to cooperate with the police and authorities and comply with the movement control order. With the army out this weekend, maybe I will have
some time to see my kids. I have not seen them for a few days. They’re asleep when I’m home, and when they’re awake, I’m out. We have manned blocks in Taman Tun Dr. Ismail since 0800 hrs this morning. I hope what we are doing can educate the people. I hope they will learn to be less stubborn and cooperate. It is for the good of everyone.
I really hope people will listen to us, cooperate and work with us. Because if they don’t, the government will be forced to enforce stricter protocols, or even a complete lockdown. Then it will be even harder for civilians. And it will also be harder for us – both as the police and as civilians. And it will be tough if, because of stricter movement control, I cannot go home to see my kids.”
The above is the excerpts from Steven Yong’s chat with one police personnel at the said roadblock and DOES NOT represent an official statement, stance or position of Polis Diraja Malaysia (PDRM) but the information is essentially correct as it has been sent to us by a member of the police force