Roadblocks, rat lanes and attempted border crossings keep Johor cops busy on eve of Raya

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Johor police chief Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said this was a large increase of applications compared to the recent period from April 28 to May 4. — Picture by Ben Tan
Johor police chief Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said this was a large increase of applications compared to the recent period from April 28 to May 4. — Picture by Ben Tan

JOHOR BARU, May 12 — Johor police have rejected a total of 529 out of 25,222 applications for interstate and district travel in conjunction with Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebrations from May 5 to 11.

Johor police chief Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said this was a large increase compared to the recent period from April 28 to May 4 where a total of 202 out of 15,200 applications were rejected.

He said the number of rejected applications had increased by 327, or 100 per cent, and attributed to non-compliance with standard operating procedures (SOP).

“At the same time, the police have also increased the number of roadblocks from 35 to 50 involving 12 highways, Ops Benteng (8), state borders (10) and federal roads (20),” said Ayob Khan during a brief press conference after leading an SOP compliance operation at the Larkin Sentral public market here today.

Ayob Khan said that with the implementation of the nationwide movement control order (MCO) from today to June 7, a total of 767 enforcement personnel including those from relevant agencies, will be stationed at the respective roadblocks.

“Another 260 personnel will be part of the monitoring teams with 150 police patrol cars conducting SOP compliance operations,” he said.

The state’s top cop added that a total of 39 vehicles out of the 28,364 vehicles inspected were ordered to turn back yesterday.

He said that most of those that were asked to turn back had used unreasonable excuses, including the attempted use of expired travel permission letters.

On ‘rat lanes’ (lorong tikus) in Johor, Ayob Khan said police have identified the existence of such routes in Segamat.

“Following that, we (police) will further enhance the control over those routes,” he said.

Last Friday, the Johor Baru, Kulai and Kota Tinggi districts in Johor were placed under an MCO. Following that, Kluang became the fourth district to come under the MCO last Sunday after a surge in Covid-19 cases.

On Monday, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced that Malaysia would again implement the MCO nationwide from today to June 7 in an effort to curb the growing spread of Covid-19.

Following that, police have also launched a week-long Ops Rentas to stop those who are still hoping to return to their hometowns for Raya celebrations.

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