Penang police ensure smooth year-end celebrations

GEORGE TOWN: Some 500,000 vehicles are expected to make their way into Penang island during the festive period, from now until after the New Year’s Day celebrations.

George Town OCPD Asst Comm Soffian Santong said police personnel were ready to maintain public order and ensure a smooth year-end celebrations for all.

“It will be business as usual for us as we prepare to maintain public order and safety in the state.

“We’ve doubled our operations such as traffic control, routine patrol and crime prevention,” he said yesterday.

ACP Soffian said they had launched Ops Christmas and Ops New Year, which started on Dec 18 and will continue until Jan 1.

“During this school holidays, there will be traffic congestions in several areas as holidaymakers make their way here,” he added.

ACP Soffian advised those returning to their village or spending their holidays elsewhere to inform the nearest police station so that the police could increase patrol at their housing area.

He said the public can fill up the forms at any police station near their house.

“For those coming to Penang, they must be more careful on the road and observe the traffic rules at all times to ensure their safety and other motorists,” he said, adding that the public should also plan their schedule to avoid traffic congestion.

ACP Soffian also advised motorists to be mindful of holidaymakers walking along the road especially at the popular tourist spots.

“Crime happens everywhere, so the public must also take extra measures not to fall victim.”

Over at the Penang mainland, central Seberang Prai district deputy OCPD Supt Mustafa Bidin said over 400 policemen have been put on standby at various hotspots to maintain security during the festive period.

“There will be extra focus at major spots such as Juru Auto City and Icon City, as well as at the St Anne’s Church where a large number of worshippers will congregate for prayers on Christmas Eve,” he added.

Supt Mustafa said based on past records, cases of fighting – among those who had too much to drink – are quite common during this period.

Juru Auto City managing director Gary Teoh, who has been hosting the annual Christmas and New Year countdowns for over 10 years, said they expect some 10,000 people to turn up for this year’s celebrations.

“We have prepared 3,000 parking bays and we have also hired Rela personnel to help us monitor the crowd,” he said.

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