GEORGE TOWN, March 22 — Penangites living on the island are advised not to go to the mainland side of the state without a valid reason, Northeast District Police chief Assistant Commissioner Soffian Santong said today.
He said police will conduct a roadblock at the entrance to the Penang bridge and stop those without valid reasons from driving to Seberang Perai.
“If you live on the island, you are not allowed to go to Seberang Perai without valid reasons, so we will instruct those without valid reasons to take the road back to town or Bayan Baru,” he said in a brief press conference while checking on one of the roadblocks set up on the island at Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway.
He said only those who are able to provide valid reasons such as those working in the essential services sector with proof will be allowed to go.
Soffian said there will also be roadblocks on the mainland side to question every motorist coming from the bridge.
Today, a total 99 army personnel have been deployed to assist the police in the northeast district on the island.
Soffian said three army personnel will be stationed at each of the four roadblocks in the district at any one time.
“The roadblocks at Batu Ferringhi, Paya Terubong, Batu Uban and here will be held round the clock so there will be four different shifts for those on duty,” he said.
Additionally, he said 10 police multi-purpose vehicles (MPV) will patrol the streets of George Town throughout the day.
He said army personnel will also be assisting the patrol teams especially at popular recreational spots and places of worship.
A total of 351 personnel from the police force are involved in these enforcement actions in the northeast district.
Soffian said many people are still taking the movement control order (MCO) lightly.
“Though many we stopped at roadblocks had valid reasons such as working in essential services, there are still those who are out visiting friends and relatives,” he said.
Soffian said there was even one man who drove from Bayan Baru to George Town purportedly to buy food because the food in town was “more delicious”.
“Some are coming back from the mainland without any reasons for being there in the first place,” he said.
Soffian reminded the public to stay home at all times and to adhere to the MCO.
“This is not a holiday, please stay home,” he said.