Fun comes at a heavy price

Crowd control: Enforcement officers conducting an operation in a bazaar at Midtown Perda commercial centre in Kubang Menerong, Tasek Gelugor.

GEORGE TOWN: Three night entertainment operators and their patrons were fined a whopping RM305,000 on the island and in Bukit Mertajam for violating Covid-19 standard operating procedure (SOP).

They include two entertainment outlets here in Lebuh Pantai and one in Bukit Mertajam, which were slapped with RM25,000 fines, while patrons were fined RM5,000 each.

George Town OCPD Asst Comm Soffian Santong said the nightspots in Lebuh Pantai were raided at about 1am on Sunday, with 26 patrons fined.

In Bukit Mertajam, Central Seberang Prai OCPD Asst Comm Shafee Abd Samad said a worker at an entertainment outlet in Icon City and 19 patrons were caught off guard when police raided the premises at 1.15am.

“They were consuming alcohol and were issued compounds for offences such as not wearing facemasks and not observing physical distancing, ” he said.

Meanwhile in Kepala Batas, the organisers of a Ramadan bazaar got slapped with a RM20,000 fine yesterday for not ensuring SOP compliance despite receiving a warning from police last week.

North Seberang Prai OCPD Asst Comm Noorzainy Mohd Noor said the fine was issued after checks found that the organisers of the bazaar at Midtown Perda commercial centre in Kubang Menerong failed to control the crowd.

“Although the organisers provided designated entrance and exit routes and made sure that visitors checked in with the MySejahtera app, they failed to comply with physical distancing rules, ” he said.

ACP Noorzainy said checks found that the organiser failed to ensure that only two to four customers were allowed at each stall at any one time.

He said the maximum capacity of the bazaar at any one time was 400 visitors but police found the number of visitors exceeded that.

The fine was issued under Regulation 18 of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Disease Regulations 2021 and was the first one issued against a Ramadan bazaar in the district.

“The organiser must take necessary and immediate steps to improve SOP compliance or face closure if the offence is repeated, ” he said.

On a more positive note, he said the 40-strong team of enforcers from Seberang Prai City Council checked on the Mahabbah carnival at Bertam, Kepala Batas, and the organiser there should be commended for having improved on the carnival’s SOP compliance.

In Kedah, 10 more schools were instructed to close for two days after Covid-19 cases were found there.

The Kedah Education Department announced that SM Sultanah Asma, SM Agama Kedah and SM Seri Badong were ordered to close on Saturday and are scheduled to be opened today.

SM St Anne Convent, SK Sri Kulim, SM Sungai Kob, SM Jelutong and SK Tunku Abdul Malik in Kulim, and SJK (C) Choong Hwa in Gurun were closed for two days from Sunday.

SK Bukit Kiara in Sungai Petani was ordered closed since April 28 and will continue to be closed until Monday, the department said.

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