A road trip is always enjoyed when there’s no traffic – Courtesy video
MY first-hand experience taking a drive to Kuala Lumpur under the second phase of the Movement Control Order, and let me start with why this trip had to be made…
For the past five years, I have been a dialysis patient and every two months, I get my medication from University Malaya Medical Centre in Petaling Jaya.
Since my visit on February 5, I was due to make another trip by April 5.
Earlier this week, I went to the Tampin police station where I was met by a sweet young thing brandishing a machine gun.
Looking at my physical condition and after showing my documentation, she said that all I needed to do was do likewise at the roadblocks.
Now being an OKU with limited vision, I had to get someone to drive me due to the Komuter train schedules.
So, there was my road mate who drives me for my dialysis at 4.30am to drive me, and as usual he obliged.
We left at 8.30am and the first roadblock was at the Tampin border
Manned by army personnel, no issue as I showed them my documents and I was let through , no questions asked.
Just before I entered the Simpang Empat toll plaza, another roadblock. This time it took some convincing.
The policeman asked why I needed to go to KL and not get the medication in Tampin.
I then referred him to my prescription letter and my dialysis records.
Not convinced he then questioned why there were two f us in the car.
I showed him my OKU card and asked him to look as to my handicap, which was blindness.
He then argued that my driver needed to get a letter and wanted us to turn back.
I made it crystal clear that I was prepared to turn back and get a letter that was non-existent as I tried to do likewise the previous day.
Then as if playing God, he said I can let you through but I doubt you can get through the next roadblock. I replied I rather take my chance,
So off I went, the highway was empty, an occasional car or bike but several lorries could be seen.
Upon clearing the Sungai Besi toll where only two Touch ‘n Go lanes were operational
there was another roadblock just after the turning to Kesas Highway.
Here there was a long line of cars and the traffic policeman had a quick glance at my papers and showed the thumbs up, saying those with dialysis issues were given special exemption.
Having collected my medication, after paying the dues, and injections at UMCC, I then headed to the AA Pharmacy at Taman Desa to buy other medication.
I asked the guy if he had some face masks.
And surprisingly he said he had, selling at the government-controlled price of RM1.50 each but they came in packs of 20 and 50 and must be paid in cash.
A quick call to my dialysis centre in Tampin as I knew they needed masks, and I purchased 300 masks plus several bottles of sanitizers.
And I hit the road back to Tampin but not before a drive-through stop at MacDonalds.
Another roadblock just before the Sungai Besi Toll and this time a stern looking women police Officer, no smile but one question – why are there 2 of you in the car.
I explained about my medical condition and waived my OKU card, and magically she waved us through.
A quick stop at the Petronas station near Serdang to polish off our MacD and another clear drive to Tampin, with Waze showing 45 minutes before I reached the Simpang Empat exit.
Upon exiting there was no roadblock but suddenly there was a new roadblock put up on the road leading to the Tampin turning.
And another waving of documents saw no questions asked.
And at the Tampin boarder roadblock, once I explained to the Army personnel, he asked where we were heading to, and when I replied to home, he smiled and said , “ Please take a bath ok since coming from KL”
My purpose of sharing this.
Firstly, it’s not easy for the enforcement personnel to stand in the humid conditions to man the roadblocks.
Their entire purpose is to keep it safe so do give them good cooperation and prepare your papers well in advance.
If you are reasonable and can justify your movement, they too will be accommodating,
After all they too are human and if we smile, expect a smiley face in return.
Please remember they are just doing their job and the onus is on us to facilitate their jobs, not call them names or say anything degrading, though you might get an odd one or two like I did before entering the highest on my way up.
In all probability I might need to go again to IJN to collect medication for my Dad on April 14.
And I do hope it’s amother pleasant experience given that it is hopefully the last day of the MCO.
However,something tells me it will be extended. And it’s no April Fool joke!
To the men in blue, white and army fatigues, keep doing a great job in keeping us safe and may God bless and keep you safe.
S S Dhaliwal remains a journalist still passionate about sports, its writings and can still pack a “Tyson” uppercut.