GEORGE TOWN, March 22 (Bernama) -- Penang police will take sterner and more drastic action against members of the public and traders at the Air Itam Market here who persist on violating the Movement Control Order (MCO).
State Police Chief Datuk Sahabudin Abd Manan said as of today, about 70 per cent of the residents and traders in the area have complied with the order and police are still advising the rest to follow suit.
“My staff and I have gone to the location with the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) and Air Itam state assemblyman Joseph Ng Soon Siang to look at the situation and the MBPP has ordered the roadside traders to stop selling as this leads to crowds gathering and congestion.
“Our checks found the situation is better than yesterday, the traders are complying, although not fully,” he told reporters after visiting the Air Itam Market here today.
Earlier, Bernama found that the public had begun to throng the market as early as 5 a.m. and within one hour, the place was congested.
ORDER -POLICE 2 (LAST) GEORGE TOWN
Yesterday, the MBPP ordered the traders, including roadside food sellers, at the Air Itam, Bayan Baru, Jalan Perak and Jelutong markets to close from today after many people were found to be still going there despite the MCO which was imposed on March 18.
Separately, Sahabudin said the crime rate in the state has dropped 70 per cent from Wednesday, with only five cases recorded, compared to the average daily crime index of 14.
He said police have set up 24 roadblocks in Penang, with patrols around the state to ensure compliance with the MCO.
Meanwhile, a check at Jalan Perak market found that traffic flow at the the nearby roads appeared seamless for motorcycles and cars without the roadside hawker stalls. However, long queues were seen stretching outside the market as people waited for food takeaways.
On the other hand, outside the Bayan Baru market, loudspeakers from police cars could be heard blasting the MCO in four languages, and while there were no roadside stalls, the shops inside the wet market were crowded.
Meanwhile, in Jelutong market, only vegetable stalls were set up by the roadside as the space for the wet market inside was occupied by stalls selling fish and poultry. It was the only exception allowed in the ban.
TAG: Movement Control Order, sterner action, markets, sahabudin abd manan