PETALING JAYA: As policemen tightened screenings at state borders, frustrated Malaysians took to social media today complaining of being stuck in traffic jams at police roadblocks, some “for hours”.
Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador had instructed state police chiefs yesterday to tighten screenings at state borders to stop cross-border travel, after receiving reports that policemen were not inspecting drivers at roadblocks.
With interdistrict travel getting the green light since March 4, and interstate travel allowed between states under the recovery MCO (RMCO), Hamid said tighter controls and inspections would help prevent travel clusters and ensure that no one was circumventing the law.
In a video being circulated on WhatsApp today, a man inside a car, apparently near the Sungai Besi toll plaza said he had been waiting for an hour in the traffic jam.
“This is what happens when people complain that the police are just sitting in their camps and waving people along at roadblocks,” the man grumbled in the video taken from inside a car in a traffic jam.
“Today they (police) have answered, and they are checking everyone,” he said.
Meanwhile, a Twitter user with the handle @mienanna re-tweeted a video of the traffic jam at the Senawang toll in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, and said she was stuck there for more than an hour.
There were similar roadblocks at the exits on the NKVE and the federal highway.
“There are roadblocks inside Selangor too?” questioned Twitter user @fitrynx, who posted a photo of cars at a roadblock at Bukit Raja, Selangor.
“This is the most inefficient roadblock. Open two lanes,” said another Twitter user, @redha_zahid, who posted a photo of cars at a roadblock at Labu, Negeri Sembilan. “Friday evening is peak hour. This is a real problem.”
Two MPs also took to Twitter to voice their concerns about the traffic jams in various areas due to roadblocks, with Bangi MP Ong Kian Ming saying the roadblock after the Sungai Besi toll “is causing a massive jam.”
“I appeal to the police to consider adjusting this a bit so drivers don’t get frustrated,” he added.
Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh highlighted the roadblocks at the Subang, Damansara and Bukit Jelutong tolls on her Twitter account, asking the police to consider stopping the roadblocks as they were in locations where residents from Kuala Lumpur and Selangor travel to and from work and school on a daily basis.
Both MPs tagged the Royal Malaysia Police on Twitter in their posts.
Speaking to FMT, Kuala Lumpur traffic investigations and enforcement department chief Zulkifli Yahya said his men stopped conducting roadblocks at 7pm tonight due to the “messy jams” they were creating.
“We did some research and realised that 90% of the people we stopped were from Kuala Lumpur or Selangor, who don’t need permits to travel,” he said.
“The other 10% were from other states like Negeri Sembilan or Perak, but had permits to travel.
“The roadblocks are causing messy jams and there’s no point also. I’ve discussed this with the IGP, and rather than causing the rakyat trouble, we have decided to stop the roadblocks from 7pm tonight.”