Long queues of permit applicants at Sibu police stations

People with umbrellas due to the drizzling queuing up for the permit

SIBU, Jan 26: Long queues are seen outside three police stations in Sibu as employers rushed to meet the deadline to apply for travel permit.

Applicants were already seen at the central, Lanang and Sungai Merah police stations in the town yesterday as soon as the official announcement that a work related travel permit was necessary starting January 27 was made.

About 30 applicants were already at the central police station as early as 7am this morning. By 7.30am, the crowd started to build up at all the three stations.

At about 10am, rain began pouring but that did not deter the crowd from staying in the queues.

One of the Rela chiefs, Tan Hong Kiang who was there to control the crowd said the policemen on duty could not turn up early due to shortage of manpower.


The crowd in front of Lanang Police station

Meanwhile a coffee shop operator Lim was ensure if he should apply for the permit.

“I heard that police permit is required for those under essential service. I am not really sure whether I really need the permit,” he said.

When told that the form could be downloaded online, he however said he does not have a computer.

A cafe operator Peter Tang despite being told he does not need a permit, he went to the police station just to make sure.

“A police officer told me that since my workers are staying just above my cafe, I don’t have to apply for the permit. I heard that the permit ruling was to ensure that the management of essential services are only allowed to operate at 30% capacity during the MCO period. So do I still need the permit,” he asked.

Sibu Municipal Council(SMC) chairman Clarence Ting had preferred that businesses under essential service should not operate during this period when Covid-19 cases continued to soar.

He said judging from the long queues at police stations, it showed that people “are willing to take the risk to carry on with their business.

Ting said they could stay at home and not venture out to the possibility of exposing to Covid-19, but instead chose to apply for the permit.

“This clearly shows that many do not take this Covid-19 spread seriously,” he quipped. — DayakDaily