Rule Not Mandatory as Cops Can Use Discretion over 10Km Radius Travel

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Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob today said that the government’s 10km-radius travel rule is not mandatory, as the police have been given discretionary powers to allow a further travel distance, based on needs.

Ismail Sabri said that this applies to those seeking medical treatment in hospitals or treatment facilities further than the stipulated 10km radius, as well as for those who need to buy items which are not found in their area.

He said that though the government bans all interstate travel, exceptions can still be made for those which are less than the said radius, pointing to Petaling Jaya and Bangsar, as well as Segamat and Gemas as examples.

“As we know, every law cannot be too specific, too detailed to cover all individuals. So, in these laws, as a general rule, it states that the movement can only be within the 10km radius.

“However, the police are allowed to use discretion in different cases. For example, we allow them to buy food products if they are not available within the 10km radius.

“They definitely can go to find the food items beyond an area exceeding 10km, that is the closest — meaning if it’s 11km, we still allow,” he said during a press conference broadcast “live” today.

He said that he was aware of the issue of people being forced to turn back, as their hospitals are further than the 10km radius.

“So, if it involves health issues and the like, and the facility is located more than 10km away, the police are also given discretionary powers to allow the journey of the individuals and parties,” he added.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba also clarified today that special leeway will be given by the authorities to those seeking medical attention and medication outside the 10km radius as stipulated within the regulations of the MCO.

The minister conceded that such leeway was required to ensure those in need of medical attention are able to receive treatment, adding there is no reason to prevent their movements if their health is at stake.

“There is no issue actually for them. They just need to say that they must get medical attention for the sake of their health,” he said.

Dr Adham explained he was aware that such an issue is typically faced by those living in Sabah and Sarawak but said those living in the city would normally be able to obtain health services within a 10km radius.

His comments come following reports that those needing medical attention were asked to turn back at roadblocks after the start of the second phase of the MCO on April 1.

Izzrafiq Alias/The Star

Reports of four cancer patients also being asked to turn back after they were not allowed through the roadblocks had surfaced, with the National Cancer Society confirming they were informed of such incidents in the Klang Valley, Melaka and the East Coast.