Road congestion expected

SEVERAL roads in Penang are expected to be congested this weekend with the confluence of three religious festivals and police have urged road users to be tolerant, courteous and patient.

George Town OCPD Asst Comm Azam Abd Hamid said traffic woes would be unavoi-dable as devotees would be thronging temples during Thaipusam, Chap Goh Meh and the Tua Pek Kong flame-watching cere-mony.

He said several roads would be closed to traffic and advised Penangites to use public transport and avoid driving unless necessary.

The three-day Thaipusam festival will begin with the silver chariot procession making its way from Penang Street to Waterfall Road from 6.30am tomorrow.

The return journey will begin on Monday evening.

ACP Azam said about 200 traffic policemen and 300 other police personnel including FRU would be deployed over the three-day period, and six CCTV cameras would be installed along the main Thaipusam route to curb crime.

He said several police camps would be set up along the route where the public could seek help if any untoward incident happened.

He also advised the people not to wear jewellery or carry a lot of cash with them in order to avoid pickpockets and snatchthefts.

The annual Tua Pek Kong mini procession in George Town will be held on Sunday afternoon, with the return journey on Monday night.

The procession, bearing a sacred incense urn and the image of Tua Pek Kong, will start at the Poh Hock Seah Tua Pek Kong Temple in Armenian Street and pass Jalan Mesjid Kapitan Keling, China Street, Beach Street, Chulia Street Ghaut, Victoria Street, Prangin Road Ghaut, Weld Quay and Magazine Road Ghaut.

From Magazine Road, the entourage will proceed by bus to the Hai Choo Soo (Sea Pearl) Tua Pek Kong Temple in Tanjong Tokong for the annual chneah hoay (flame watching) ceremony the same night.

As for the Chap Goh Meh celebrations, the one organised by the Penang Chinese Town Hall will start at 6pm on Sunday while the one by the Penang Government at the Esplanade will be held from 7pm to 11pm on Monday.

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