KUCHING: The heavy number of vehicles on the roads recently is mostly due to those working in essential services who are commuting to work, says Sarawak Deputy Police Commissioner Dato Dev Kumar.
He said that this was the clarify the perception that people were flouting the MCO based on the large number of vehicles, especially during the morning rush hour.
“From my observation, 99.9 per cent of the vehicles on the road have valid reasons,” Dev told reporters at a police roadblock near the Simpang Tiga flyover this morning.
He added that the traffic jams were due to police personnel having to verify the approval letters against the driver’s identity, which would take about a minute or two to do so.
He said that this had to be done thoroughly at each of the roadblocks to ensure that people were not defying the Movement Control Order (MCO).
Aside from those working in essential services, the general public are also allowed to go out to buy groceries, medicine and other essential items between 7am to 7pm daily.
Dev said that among the objectives of the roadblocks were to deter those wanting to go out for unnecessary reasons, such as visiting a friend during the MCO, or to catch criminals such as drug peddlers.
On another note, Dev said that police personnel manning the roadblocks were using their best judgement in each of the scenarios that they have faced.
“We (the police) cannot be so strict until we are causing a huge burden to the community.
“For example, the police will not simply arrest a husband who needs to send his wife, who does not possess a valid driving license, to work or a parent who needs to send their child to work,” he said.
He also wished to remind the public to only go out of their homes if needed and to use their best judgement as it is vital in breaking the chain of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) infection.
Also present at the roadblock this morning was Kuching district deputy chief Supt Merbin Lisa.