AS the New Year holidays come to a close, roads and holiday spots in Penang are still packed with domestic tourists making the most of their time to explore as many attractions possible in the state.
Many felt although the enforcement of standard operating procedures (SOP) at some of the places were a little lax, most managements gave attention to their customers’ safety by ensuring they followed the SOPs in place.
Businessman Aidil Amir and his girlfriend Aisyah Halim, both 24, from Kangar, Perlis, drove all the way just to enjoy the nasi kandar at Hameediyah Restaurant in Campbell Street, George Town.
“We come here often but although there is always a long queue to get into the restaurant, the SOPs set by the restaurant ensures that the customers are safe.
“Only a limited number of customers are allowed to enter at any one time to avoid crowding and that explains the long queue outside, ” said Aidil, who was among some 50 people queuing along the side walk outside the restaurant on Sunday, which is Penang’s oldest nasi kandar eatery.
Comparing his experience to his visit to Johor last month, Aidil felt Penang’s enforcement was much more relaxed.
“In Johor, there was police presence at every popular place and we felt like we were being monitored.
“I guess in Penang, the enforcement is relaxed so as not to put too much pressure on tourists, ” he noted.
Over at Penang Hill’s lower station, restaurant manager Siti Nurhidayah Sulaiman, 29, from Kuala Lumpur, brought her family of 13 for a visit.
“We arrived in three cars for a night’s stay in Penang and decided to visit popular tourist spots such as Penang Hill and the beach in Batu Ferringhi.
“Some of the places we went were crowded as the holidays were ending but we stayed safe and protected by practising all the SOPs, ” she said.
Siti Nurhidayah added that she found authorities in Penang more lenient than Selangor as more family members were allowed to sit together at the same table.
“It makes sense to allow a big family to sit at the same table but back in Selangor, we are only allowed a limited number per table although we go as a family, ” she said.
A group of friends, who were part of a tour group from Kuala Lumpur, were seen taking photos at the Kek Lok Si Temple.
“About 30 of us arrived in a bus and have so far visited Komtar and Pulau Jerejak.
“Penang continues to develop and there are always new attractions for tourists.
“However, due to SOP compliance, dining at restaurants reserved by the tour agency limited us to only six persons per table.
“It may be inconvenient but that didn’t stop us from enjoying the rest of the trip, especially the food here, ” said Richard Chan, 65.
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