GEORGE TOWN, Nov 5 ― Travellers departing from and arriving at the Penang International Airport (PIA) must obtain police permits to enter the airport from tomorrow, said Southwest district police chief Supt A. Anbalagan.
The PIA is located within Mukim 12 of the southwest district on Penang island, which will come under a conditional movement control order (CMCO) from tomorrow till November 19.
“Those living within Mukim 12 and outside the area who are flying to other states will need to apply for police permits with valid reasons,” he said in a press conference at the Bayan Lepas police station today.
He said valid reasons include work and emergency cases, and police would reject applications for social and leisure purposes.
Travellers from other states must also secure police permits from their respective states as they will be traversing a CMCO zone upon arrival, he said.
He stressed that the PIA will remain open along with all other economic activities and industries in the area.
Anbalagan said there will not be any road closures except for one direct lane entering the second bridge from George Town.
“We do not want to cause inconvenience to those who are working so we are not closing any roads except for the access lane to the second bridge,” he said.
However, there will be roadblocks at six locations within the area: two at the second bridge, two at Queensbay, two at Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway, one at Shell Sungai Nibong, one at Jalan Dato Ismail Hashim in front of Setia Triangle and two at Jalan Teluk Kumbar in front of Pavillion Resident.
He said the road blocks will be in both directions of the second bridge, but those with authorisation letters from their employers or valid work passes will be let through.
“We won’t be stopping every vehicle at the roadblocks, it will be random checks and usually, they will know to display their employer letters on their dashboard so we can let them through,” he said when asked if the roadblocks could cause congestion due to the high number of workers in the area.
He added that they will assess the situation at the roadblocks periodically.
Mukim 12 is spread out over 26.7 km sq and it includes Bayan Lepas, Bayan Baru, Sungai Ara, Queensbay, Batu Maung and all four phases of the free industrial zone (FIZ).
Anbalagan said there will be a total 328 officers on duty at the roadblocks including the police, armed forces, civil defence and the People’s Volunteer Corp.
He said all businesses may operate up to 10pm and dine-in is still allowed at eateries but limited to two persons per table.
“Queensbay Mall will be open as usual but those outside of Mukim 12 are not allowed to enter the area so only those living within this area can go to the shopping complex,” he said.
He also said the Education Ministry has already released a list of 58 schools that will be closed during the CMCO.
As for students who attend schools outside the area, he said they were excused from classes for the duration of the CMCO.