By S. Harrish
SIBU folks have been told to take the Covid-19 situation seriously as many are willing to take the risk by continuing to operate their businesses.
Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) chairman Clarence Ting lamented on Facebook about the situation after noticing that the public even braved the rain to apply for police permits at the central police station.
“Despite a steady drizzle and Covid-19 threat, Sibu public braved the elements to apply for police permit.
“They could stay at home and not venture out to face the dangers of Covid-19 spread, but decided to apply.
“This clearly shows many do not think this Covid-19 spread is serious. They are willing to take the risk to continue opening their business,” he said.
Starting tomorrow, police permit is required for employees of businesses listed as essential services under MCO in Sibu Division, when they travel to and from work.
The long queues at police stations have also prompted calls for the applications to be made online.
According to the Borneo Post, Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) Priscilla Lau said she had gone to the Sibu central police station at 9am but found it packed with people standing under the rain, some with umbrellas and some without.
“Next I rushed to Lanang police station and was again met with the same scene where the queue was snaking all over the car park. As in the CPS, here policemen were stationed all over and standing in the rain trying to direct human traffic,” she said.
In the midst of this pandemic where social distancing and strategic lockdowns are being highlighted constantly, Lau pointed out that she failed to see the logic in making it compulsory for police to be involved in this physical issuance of permits in order to go to work.
She opined that a simple letter from the employer of essential services given to the employee to show to policemen, if questioned, was sufficient.
“Or instead of physically cramming the police stations in Sibu with as many ‘bosses’ as possible, couldn’t a simple letter or a simple form be filled online?” she asked.
“To put so many lives at risk (as there were no social distancing) just to satisfy the unreasonable need to physically apply for a police permit to work for three days is beyond comprehension.”
Lau hoped that if the MCO is extended in Sibu, the police permits would be automatically renewed without requiring applicants to resubmit their applications.