KUCHING: Members of the public are advised to take note of the road closures and detours around Padang Merdeka for the Malaysia Day celebration on Sept 16.

This was told by Kuching district police chief ACP Awang Din Awang Gani at a press conference yesterday at the Kuching District Police Headquarters.

ACP Awang Din showing the road closure plan in conjunction with Malaysia Day 2019. Photo: Ramidi Subari

The road closures and detours will begin at 4pm until the event is complete and the roads involved are as follows: Jalan Gambier (public toilet); Jalan Gambier to Main Baazar detour; Jalan Wawasan; Jalan Main Baazar from Jalan Lebuh Wayang; Jalan Lebuh Wayang from Jalan Ban Hock (St. Mary); Jalan McDougall curb from the direction of Jalan Ban Hock; and RTM traffic light road to Padang Merdeka.

The plan of road closure and route diversion in the city in conjunction with Malaysia Day 2019 celebration.

He added that on Sept 10 and 11, there would be a special rehearsal by the Arts Council and a few roads to the area would be closed starting at 10pm.

“Whereas from Sept 12 to 14, there will also be rehearsals for the Malaysia Day celebration and the road closures and detours will start at 7pm until it ends,” he stated.

Awang Din encouraged those who wish to attend the celebration to use public transportation services such as bus, taxi, as well as Grab, MyCar and so on.

“However, if they want to use private vehicles, it is advisable to park their vehicles at the designated carparks at Medan Pelita; Bangunan Saujana; Baitulmal open area; Kuching Amphitheatre; Reservoir Park; St Thomas Church; Civic Centre and Padang Pasir roundabout,” he said.

The plan of road closure and diversion at McDougall Road for the setting up of the VVIP grandstand in conjunction with the celebration of Malaysia Day 2019 to be held at Padang Merdeka Kuching.

Apart from that, the closure and detour of Jalan McDougall’s entrance and exit have been in effect since Sept 5 and will be extended until Sept 18, following the construction of the VVIP main stage in the area.

The public are advised to follow the signage and directions provided by the Public Works Department and the direction of the traffic police.

“Those coming from the Ban Hock roundabout are advised not to enter Jalan McDougall and instead use Jalan Lebuh Wayang, except for those who want to go to St Thomas Church, SMK St Mary, St Mary Primary School and Merdeka Palace Hotel they can use the road and make a U-turn at the designated route until Sept 16 at 4pm.

“Public coming from Jalan Tun Abang Haji Openg are not allowed to enter Jalan McDougall as the road has been completely closed from Sept 5 until 18,” he said.

He also advised that the public to plan their travel time in case of any business in the area.

Awang Din said actions would be taken against those who refused to cooperate. Collaboration from all parties is expected in order for the celebration to go smoothly.

The Malaysia Day 2019 celebration will be held on Sept 16 here at Padang Merdeka, which will begin at 7pm.

The celebration will be attended by the Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal and other dignitaries from all over the country as well as ambassadors from neighbouring countries.

It is estimated that 10,000 people will attend the celebration from various invited departments and agencies. This figure does not include the number of visitors from the surrounding area, including tourists staying at the surrounding hotels.