KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 13– Leave for all policemen has been frozen with immediate effect following a surge in COVID-19 cases and the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO), said Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador.
He said the directive was issued to ensure maximum police strength in enforcing the MCO and to monitor the compliance of the standard operating procedure (SOP) set by the Ministry of Health (MOH).
“Only those with emergency matters will be given leeway to apply for leave and we are very sympathetic to the families of policemen who died due to COVID-19… it is hoped that by freezing their leave, we will be able to provide a line-up of personnel committed to ensuring SOP compliance by the public.
“I have heard the briefing (on the surge in COVID-19 cases) by the Health director-general (Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah) and, as a result, we can see that the decision to implement the MCO is appropriate,” he told a special press conference at Bukit Aman here.
Abdul Hamid said the situation would be worse if the MCO was not implemented and drastic action not taken immediately, adding that the National Security Council (MKN) had made the right decision by implementing the MCO.
Asked about roadblocks following the implementation of the MCO, Abdul Hamid said district and state police chiefs and police commissioners were working on suitable sites to set up the roadblocks in their respective states.
“I expect more than 300 roadblocks, with the possibility of double that number depending on the situation.
“These roadblocks do not include the 56 existing ones stipulated under Ops Benteng,” he said.
Abdul Hamid said 48,000 policemen were expected to be on duty during the MCO, with 12,000 more on standby.
“Individuals working in essential services need not worry about inter-state travels as they only need to show their employers’ letter at the roadblocks and I believe my men will use their discretion,” he said.