SIBU: The issuance of police permits for workers of companies listed under the essential service sectors to commute to work has drawn flak from many quarters.
This follows the police saying that strict enforcement will be conducted from Jan 27 to nab those travelling but without a permit.
As a result, there was a mad rush for to get everything done in time, which saw many of the applicants not adhering to the stipulated standard operating procedures (SOP), including physical distancing.
On Tuesday (Jan 26) despite the rain, a big crowd of people lined up at the central, Lanang and Sungai Merah police stations to apply for the permit, and Parti Bumi Kenyalang secretary-general Priscilla Lau questioned the need for the permit.
"In the midst of the pandemic in which the authorities are highlighting the need for physical distancing and other strategic lockdown measures, I fail to see the logic in making it compulsory for the police to be involved in the issuance of permits in order to commute to work," she said in a statement.
Lau said the police were unnecessarily burdened due to the process when there were much more effective and easier ways to ensure adherence to the SOP.
"A simple letter from the employer of essential services to the employee to show the police during roadblocks should be sufficient.
"This is better than the people crowding the police stations," she said, adding that alternatively, the application process could be filled online to make it more efficient and a proof of adherence to the SOP.
Lau said the lack of physical distancing could put the people at risk of contracting the disease.
She urged the Sibu Disaster Management Committee to think smart before implementing any measure in order to flatten the curve of Covid-19 infections.
The committee has implemented the police permit ruling as it wanted to reduce traffic in Sibu town to some 50% during the movement control order period.
According to the guidelines, companies are only allowed to operate up to 30% capacity.
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