Leave frozen for over 2,000 council staff to handle weekend crowd


A TOTAL of 2,342 Penang Island City Council (MBPP) staff will be on duty this weekend to ensure everything goes smoothly as the state prepares to welcome about 50,000 visitors to the island.

MBPP mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang said leave for 78% of their staff has been frozen until Oct 19.

“This would involve 2,342 staff members out of the total 3,019 under us.

“We will recall back to work those whose leave days were previously approved.

“We will also cancel the leave applications that are yet to be approved,” he said during a recent press conference via Zoom.

Yew said this was because the council needed to prepare to meet the challenges in terms of urban services, traffic and possibly issues which may arise from the weather.

“According to the Malaysian Meteorology Department, Penang may receive 300mm to 500mm of rain this month, so we need to prepare for this on top of handling the weekend crowd.

“We need to be prepared for cases like landslides, flash floods and fallen trees.

“As such, the council staff like those in the licensing, landscaping and engineering departments are required to work during this period,” he said.

While the council welcomes visitors to Penang, Yew reminded them to observe all the standard operating procedures (SOP) during their time here.

“Together with the police and state Health Department, we will monitor the hotspots and conduct spot checks.

“If non-compliance is found, action will be taken.”

Yew said the council has over 1,000 closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras on the island, which will be their ‘eyes in the sky’.

“We will make use of the CCTV to monitor the situation and help us mete out necessary action.

“But essentially, we hope that all the businesses are ready to receive visitors.

“And for those coming back to Penang to meet their loved ones, it is best for them to do a Covid-19 self-test first.”

For public complaints, Yew urged the public to contact the MBPP hotline at 04-263 7637 or WhatsApp 016-200 4082.

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