No ‘balik kampung’ for Ramadan, clarifies Ismail Sabri

Ismail Sabri said that there will be no 'balik kampung' for Ramadan. — Picture by Farhan Najib
Ismail Sabri said that there will be no ‘balik kampung’ for Ramadan. — Picture by Farhan Najib

KUALA LUMPUR, April 23 — People will not be allowed to return to their hometowns during Ramadan, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob reiterated after some confusion over his announcement yesterday.

He said that people had misunderstood his announcement yesterday, in which he had stated that those who are currently stuck in their hometowns, after travelling back before the start of the movement control order (MCO), and want to return to urban areas are required to submit an application at their nearest police station.

“I said that those who have been in their hometowns from the beginning (of the MCO) can apply online or at police stations as of April 25 to return to the city or urban areas where they are working.

“We have said early on that there will be no balik kampung for Ramadan. There cannot be movement from urban areas to villages. Do not be confused,” he said during his daily security briefing here today.

Ismail Sabri also said that those who want to return to the cities and other urban areas may submit their applications but this did not guarantee that they would be approved.

He said that a report would be sent to authorities like the Health Ministry, police and National Security Council, and they would discuss and decide whether this is possible.

“And then we have to decide on an SOP for how to allow them back. A lot needs to be detailed. We need to study this closely to see if we can give permission,” he said.

Yesterday, Ismail Sabri said that those who returned to their hometowns before the MCO came into effect on March 18 and now want to travel back to urban areas should register online through the Gerak Malaysia app with the police and Communications and Multimedia Ministry (MCMC).

He said the government understands that many, who have been away for over a month, wish to return to their respective homes in urban areas.

However, the final decision will only be made after May 1, he added.