THE Penang Island City Council (MBPP) is down to serious business of making sure the infection rate of new Covid-19 cases in the state continues to decline.
Its mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang today told a press conference that off days and annual leave for MBPP essential workers would be put on hold from Oct 15 to 19 to beef up the manpower to manage the busy and heavy movement of people expected this weekend onwards.
With the lifting of interstate travel ban by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob recently, Penang is expecting over 50,000 visitors to pour into the state this weekend.
“As a result of the perks allowed for fully vaccinated individuals who are now allowed to travel freely, we, from the local council, will ensure they comply with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) while enjoying their stay here in Penang.
“As a preventive measure to avoid further spread of the infections, I have told my essential workers that their off days and annual leave would be put on hold so as to ensure more staff are made available to tackle this weekend’s challenges, right until Oct 19.
“Out of the 3,019 MBPP staff, 2,342 will be working on the mentioned dates. That number is somewhat equivalent to 78% of the total population of my team.
“And for those that have previously applied for their annual leave, it will all be cancelled,” Yew said during a virtual press conference from Komtar today.
Among those affected are from departments such as Licencing, Health, Environment, Landscape, Enforcement, Urban Services and Engineering.
Yew has also encouraged the visitors to conduct self-testing before having any close contact with their loved ones.
“We warmly welcome those who will be holidaying and those returning from afar to their homes, but remember to follow the SOPs and make sure to self-test first before having any contact.
“This is for the good of everyone,” he added.
He also added that MBPP would be working closely with police and the state Health Department to monitor individuals found not following the strict SOPs.
Separately, Yew warned the people that there are over 1,000 closed-circuit televisions (CCTVs) on the island, with the purpose of monitoring movements and catching those found to flout the SOPs.
He also added that MBPP’s Information Operation Centre in Komtar would be used as ‘Bilik Gerakan’ to actively monitor the situations on the island starting this weekend.
“There are over 1,000 eyes in the sky watching over you. The local council will not hesitate to take action against SOP flouters,” Yew added.
For complaints or other council-related issues, individuals can contact MBPP’s hotline at 04-2637637 or WhatsApp at 016-2004082.
Story by Kevin Vimal
Pix by Alissala Thian