All quiet on Penang Hill

Penang Hill void of visitors during the lockdown.

IT is slow and quiet on Penang Hill as its food courts and tourist attractions are closed during the lockdown.

Despite that, the hill’s funicular train service is still in operation for residents and essential workers carrying out special work in the area.

Penang Hill Corporation (PHC) general manager Datuk Cheok Lay Leng said there were seven trips a day — 7am, 8am, 9am, noon, 1pm, 5.30pm and the last trip at 6.45pm.

“The only people on Penang Hill are the workers and residents living there, who still carry out their daily activities.

“Some hill residents, mostly from the middle station area, bring down their orchard crops or fresh produce to be sold at nearby markets in the morning.

“This has been their routine almost every day, ” he said when contacted recently.

Cheok said the hilltop was otherwise quiet, except for some residents’ activities and movement down the hill to get essentials.

“The food courts are closed, and none of the stalls are open since no visitors and hikers are allowed during the lockdown.

“We will adjust the trip schedules accordingly from time to time based on newer SOPs announced.

“For this, we regularly put up notices at the site and on social media to keep the residents and workers informed.

“Our staff members at the station will remind residents whenever a schedule change is about to happen.

“Although the community on Penang Hill is small, this is their only mode of transportation.

“The train service is the most convenient one for them.

“We have not stopped its operations since the first MCO last year, ” he said.

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