By John Isaac
SIBU police chief ACP Stanley Jonathan Ringgit has assured that applications for work-related travel permits during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period here can be made even after yesterday.
When met by reporters after attending a meeting at Sibu Resident’s Office yesterday, he said the police would still process permit applications after office hours.
He made this clarification following information that police would only process permit applications received between Jan 25 and 26, went viral.
“Because of this, members of the public went to the four police stations in Sibu and queued up. In actual fact, we will continue to issue the permit even after Jan 27 and they (applicants) can even come after office hours.
“There were also some companies that sent all their employees to go to apply for the permit yesterday (Tuesday), which crowded the station. But today (yesterday), the situation has very much improved as you can see at the station,” he explained as reported by Borneo Post.
Stanley said a total of 3,493 police permits were issued for Sibu District between Jan 25 and 26, of which 723 were issued on Monday and 2,770 on Tuesday.
“Twenty-one applications were rejected,” he added.
Stanley also said that employees of eateries including restaurants in Sibu need not apply for the permit.
“Only essential services need to apply to show that those going to work are from the 30 per cent of their workforce.
“For those employees in federal and state (government) departments as well as PBT (local authorities), they need not apply for the permit,” he explained.
Essential services include the manufacturing, construction, services, distribution trade, plantation and commodities sectors with only 30 per cent attendance of the management team permitted, while the number of workers is determined by the implementation of physical distancing and public health protocols in the workplace.
Stanley said for the essential services that are required to apply for the permit, only one representative from the company need to go to the police station.
On a related matter, he said they did not receive any instructions pertaining to online application for the permit.
“Each applicant must come physically to the police station to apply. The applicant will be interviewed and application vetted,” he added.
Asked if essential services companies would need to reapply for the permit if the MCO is extended beyond Jan 29, the OCPD said they had yet to receive any instructions in regard to that.
“Once it has been announced, I am sure SDMC (Sarawak Disaster Management Committee) will come up with new guidelines and instructions for that.”
To another question on whether the requirement for the permit had reduced the traffic movement here by 50 per cent as was the stated objective, Stanley said there was no statistics on the number of vehicles on the road but noted that Sibu town appeared ‘quieter’ yesterday.
Meanwhile, he said only self-service laundries are permitted to operate during the MCO period while for mobile phone shops, only those providing top-up services are allowed to open.