Authorities to take action against social distancing non compliance

DSP Ariffin ordering the pastry stall to close for not ensuring social distancing.

SIBU, May 17: The authorities will start taking action tomorrow (Monday) against members of the public and business owners if they are caught failing to observe social distancing during this Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO).

Sibu Crime Prevention and Community Policing Department, DSP Ariffin Bahar told reporters today after monitoring the central market that the five-day period of educating traders and the public on the standard operating procedure from May 12 had ended.

“Today is the last day for us to monitor the situation in the central market and shops around Jalan Channel. We have since May 12 when most businesses are allowed to reopen, being advising the people on the SOP. By now they should know it,” he added.

Those caught breaching the SOP, he said would face action under Section 6 (1) of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures within the Infected Local Areas) Regulations 2020 that carries a maximum fine of RM1,000 or six months’ imprisonment, or both, upon conviction.

The inspection today also involved Rela, Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) and Civil Defence Force.


A council staff explaining on how many customers are allowed in each table.


In the one-hour inspection, DSP Ariffin lamented that a number of hawkers and members of the public were not practicing social distancing where the minimum distance between each other is one metre.

A stall selling pastries was asked by DSP Ariffin to stop operating for the day as he did not have marking tape for his customers to observe social distancing.

Other stall owners were told to advise their customers on social distancing.

“Many people at the central market are still not following social distancing. After this we will start taking action,” he warned.

DSP Ariffin said he wanted SMC to create five each of entry and exit points in the market.

“I have advised SMC to create these entry and exit points for the easy movement of the public to avoid congestion,” he added.

Meanwhile, chairman of Sibu Hawkers’ Welfare Association, Tan Hong Kiang also touched on social distancing issue in the central market.

“I am also one of the hawkers in the market. We all are fully in compliance with the SOP which was made known to us in a circular from the council. We have also being advising our customers on the need to practice social distancing. If they refuse to follow, we cannot do anything,” he said.

The SOP guidelines included providing hand sanitizer, ensuring that the distance between tables is two metres, and that they must wear mask. – DayakDaily