GEORGE TOWN: A string of weekend gatherings seemed to indicate that some Penangites can’t wait for the movement control order (MCO) to end.
Last weekend saw 22 friends getting caught red-handed by police for having a durian feast, 14 buddies detained at a birthday bash and a drunk 64-year-old man trying to crash a roadblock.
At sea, enforcers had a busy weekend chasing down boats trying to take anglers out on fishing trips, which is not yet allowed.
Balik Pulau OCPD Supt A. Anbalagan said 22 people, including several VIPS with datukships, were caught by police after they were found gathering at a durian stall near an orchard at Sungai Pinang, Balik Pulau.
He said a team of policemen on patrol saw the group enjoying durian at the stall at 6.30pm on Saturday.
“When they saw policemen arriving, some tried to run but were ordered to stay put, ” he said in a statement.
All of them, aged between 30 and 64, including the durian stall owner, were each fined RM1,000 for flouting the MCO.
On Saturday night, a policeman manning a roadblock near Queensbay Mall nearly died when a car driven by an allegedly drunken man tried to ram him at about 10.30pm.
The policeman luckily avoided being hit and the driver was arrested.
“The man, who was intoxicated, also uttered profanities at the policeman and behaved violently during the arrest, ” Supt Anbalagan said.
The suspect has been remanded for three days. His remand ends tomorrow.
In Butterworth, a birthday bash ended abruptly after police raided a condominium unit in Jalan Harbour Place just after midnight yesterday.
North Seberang Prai OCPD Asst Comm Noorzainy Mohd Noor said the raid was conducted by his Ops Covid Task Force team.
“The birthday boy was about to cut the cake when police rushed in, ” he said.
ACP Noorzainy said those arrested were aged between 28 and 31 and admitted they were celebrating.
He said the party-goers were taken to the police station and fined RM1,000 each.
At sea, there was a high-speed boat chase near Pulau Aman involving marine police and a fishing boat carrying several anglers on Saturday.
An eyewitness, who recorded a short video and posted it on Facebook, said it was a short chase since the marine police boat was much faster.
“I was on my way home to Pulau Aman when I saw the boat chase. The boat skipper tried to outrun the enforcers but the patrol boat was so fast. I saw the marine police order the boat to turn back, ” he said.
Solo fishing by the shore is allowed during the conditional MCO but anglers cannot charter boats in groups and go out to sea.
Another boat skipper admitted he tried to take four anglers out to sea on Saturday but got a call from the marine police while they were travelling.
“We had just left Teluk Kumbar and my phone started ringing. I ignored the first few calls from the unknown number but when I finally answered, I was shocked that it was the marine police.
“They asked for my coordinates. They wanted to arrest us, but I pleaded for us to be let off, ” the skipper confessed yesterday.
“I was given a stern warning and we quickly turned back to land.”
The skipper said he had cancelled over 20 bookings from anglers during the MCO, but the group of four anglers he took out yesterday were his regulars and he accepted the charter after some persuasion from them.
“We thought we could try just once and never expected enforcement to be so strict, ” he said.
“Hopefully, the government will allow us to go out on fishing trips with a standard operating procedure in place, as we do not crowd like fishermen on some smaller boats.”
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