As you may have heard by now, the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) will allow Malaysians to travel interstate sometime starting in May. However, this permission must be requested and approved via the Gerak Malaysia mobile app which was released on 8 April 2020.
So before you start packing your things and plan out your travel arrangements, here are the important things that you need to know if you are planning to apply via the app:
What is the app for?
The Gerak Malaysia is a government app developed by MCMC in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the imposed Movement Control Order (MCO), and functions by helping authorities to keep track of the Rakyat’s movement throughout the country. While downloading and registering are not mandatory for citizens, it is compulsory for those who wish to travel interstate within the country.
Future updates to the app include the ability for users to request QR codes to allow travel for purchasing groceries within 10km radius, emergency situations (eg: death of a family member), medical treatment, and for essential activities such as car or home maintenance. PDRM has not confirmed when these added functions will be activated at this time.
What are the conditions?
First and foremost, Malaysians are required to register via the application which we will describe in full detail later on. Moreover, due to it being a tracking app, users are required to grant permission for the app access to your phone’s GPS and location services. The information will help provide the location of app users to authorities in order to track population movement during MCO. This step is compulsory in order to be granted travel access.
Can I travel across the country after I received my approval?
Well, yes and no. Users who have granted approval for travel will be allowed to travel to their desired destination that they have applied for. However, this is a one-time permission that is only given to Malaysians who are currently stranded in their hometowns during MCO and wish to return back to their own homes, according to announcement by Senior Minister (Security Cluster), Ismail Sabri Yaakob on 22 April. It is not applicable for the other way around, therefore meaning Malaysians are still restricted from travelling for ‘balik kampung’ or any other purposes.
Does this include travel by flight?
Based on our observations, the app is primarily intended for land-based travel within the country. PDRM or the government have not announced whether this app can be used for travelling via domestic flights, or is planned to implement this permission at this time.
When should I apply?
Malaysians are required to apply via Gerak Malaysia from 26 April 2020 onwards, and will need to follow-up on their application with additional information on 29 April.
How do I register?
IMPORTANT: As pointed out by some users, the app does not support rooted devices.
When applying via the app, users are required to provide and verify their mobile phone number. Once submitted, a 6-digit TAC code will be sent through SMS for users to input in the app in order to verify their mobile number.
After that, you will need to provide personal information such as your full name, IC or passport number, current residential address, and email. As mentioned earlier, you will need to allow the app to access your device’s GPS tracking and location services as well.
How to apply for interstate travel?
After completing your registration, select Generate QR Code on the Gerak Malaysia home screen and then select Interstate Travel to apply for the permission. However, this process is not immediate and a QR code will only be provided upon approval.
Furthermore, users will need to confirm their travel destination on 29 April, and – as pointed out by Senior Minister Darut Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob – are also likely required to provide additional travel information such as the total number of individuals travelling with you. Further guidelines and instructions will be provided by the authorities on that date as well.
When is the approval date?
Approval of applications will be announced via the app on 1 May 2020, and a QR code will be provided to successful applicants. This code is required to be presented at roadblocks or checkpoints for the authorities to scan and validate.
When am I allowed to travel?
Once approved, Malaysians can only travel on dates determined by the police. According to Bukit Aman criminal investigation department director Datuk Huzir Mohamed, the expected travel date are as follows:
- 1 May – Perak, Johor, and Kelantan.
- 2 May – Perlis, Kedah, Penang, Melaka, and Pahang.
- 3 May – Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Negri Sembilan, and Terengganu.
However, while it is stated that 1 to 3 May is the travel date, it is not entirely confirmed at this moment. Based on the latest PDRM announcement at 7:15PM today on 26 April, details regarding the interstate travel schedule will be updated very soon.
Additionally, travel within Sabah and Sarawak has not been determined and the authorities have not disclosed any plans to include these two East Malaysian states in the application.
Also, do keep note that it is quite likely that Gerak Malaysia or PDRM’s Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) will change in the near future. Therefore, do keep a lookout on any new announcements by the authorities in regards to this.
KENYATAAN MEDIA PENGARAH JABATAN SIASATAN JENAYAH
Kemaskini Proses Permohonan Untuk Mendapat Permit Pergerakan Di Bawah Perintah Kawalan Pergerakan (PKP). pic.twitter.com/XUTChSmXup
— Polis Diraja M'sia (@PDRMsia) April 26, 2020
Unsurprisingly, PDRM has reported around 300,000 Malaysians have registered via the Gerak Malaysia app and approximately 100,000 have applied for interstate travel – with more expected as May approaches. So far, the app has indeed helped the authorities to manage the much requested reallocation of citizens within the country, but its efficiency for both the authorities and citizens is still up to debate.
With that said, PDRM should have made their guidelines louder and clearer as not to confuse the public regarding the primary goal for interstate travel. As we are aware now, the permission is to allow stranded citizens to return to their homes, rather than for any other purpose.
This factor should be highlighted with utmost importance as Hari Raya Aidilfitri is just around the corner, and many Malaysians are eager to have the chance to travel back to their hometowns despite the situation at hand. Therefore, it is granted that among the many that have applied (or will apply) will not be given approval due to misconception.
For the nation’s sake, we do hope that those involved with the Gerak Malaysia app will iron things out to ease the burden for themselves and for Malaysian citizens.