KANGAR, May 12 — Police retirees in the state have advised frontliners, especially police personnel who man roadblocks (SJRs) during Aidilfitri, to be more resilient and careful.

Royal Malaysia Police Squad 69 Ex-servicemen’s Welfare Association Perlis branch chairman, DSP (Rtd) Hassan Othman, 72, said that although the task at SJRs seemed easy in the eyes of the public, it was more dangerous than facing criminals such as drug dealers, robbers and other criminals, because the COVID-19 virus could not be seen with the naked eye.

“I hope that police personnel assigned to man the SJRs during the Movement Control Order (MCO), which starts today, will be more careful and maintain the standard operating procedures (SOPs) so that they are not exposed to the risk of COVID-19 infection,” he told Bernama today.

Recounting his experience of serving for 39 years in the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM), Hassan said that he had faced various criminals including smugglers and kidnappers, but the challenge of policemen manning the SJRs was bigger and risky because they faced an invisible enemy, the virus.

Sharing the same sentiment is Sergeant (Rtd) Abdul Halim Puteh, 71, from Simpang Empat, who suffered a broken leg while serving with the PDRM VAT 69 Commando team, when he accidentally stepped on a communist booby trap in Pahang.

“That enemy then can be seen and the booby traps are man-made, but the frontline officers at SJRs now need to be more careful as they are facing an ‘invisible enemy’ that cannot be seen with the naked eye, but whose danger is greater to the point of being deadly, which is the COVID-19 virus,” he said.

Meanwhile, a member of the association’s central committee, Sergeant (Rtd) Yahya Dali, 71, from Beseri, also advised policemen who had to work in the morning of Aidilfitri to be patient and not be sad as they could not be with their loved ones.

“In my opinion, the sacrifices of the police officers who man the SJRs are far greater than ours because they are willing to risk not only their own lives but also the lives of their families facing the risk of COVID-19 infection,” he said.

Yahya, who served the PDRM’s Police Field Force and General Duty branches, had fought with the communists, but admitted that the current enemy, the virus, seem more dangerous than the communists.


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