Travel permit ruling controls traffic well

Clarence Ting

KUCHING: The need for police permit for work-related travel has been able to contribute to a significant drop in number of vehicles on the roads in Sibu.

For example in the town centre, there was an apparent reduced traffic volume  right after the need for permit was enforced, said 

Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) chairman Clarence Ting.

“This morning around 10 o’clock, I drove around and saw much reduced traffic around town and surrounding areas.

“This was after the Sibu Division Disaster Management Committee enforced the compulsory police permit (ruling for a work travel), thereby showing it is effective in controlling traffic.

“Even the state library Covid-19 screening centre was seeing less traffic this morning,” he said in a Facebook post today.

The permit, which took effect today, was mooted following the high traffic movement in Sibu town despite the ongoing movement control order (MCO).

Sibu DDMC chairman Charles Siaw on Monday said while the essential services companies were previously allowed to issue letters to employees, such ruling had only contributed to a 25 percent drop in traffic movement.

“So, we need to reduce this traffic (movement) further in view of the Covid-19 situation here. Hence, instead of letters from employers, we need employers to come forward to apply for the permit,” Siaw said.

In the same post, Ting said while many expressed frustration following the need of the permit, it showed the true intention of the MCO, namely to enforce movement restrictions.

He said despite the objection, most people felt that such ruling  would be able to help resolve the pandemic quickly in order for all to go back to normal lives.

“The pandemic has not improved; today we still had 51 cases. I ask you to ponder how many out there who are asymptomatic and still moving around.

“So practise your standard operating procedures (SOPs) strictly, wear your face masks at all times, observe strict socially distancing and sanitise your hands as often as possible,” the SMC chief said.