Penang market closed after crowd flouts distancing rule

Paya Terubong market is near Air Itam market (above) which came under criticism for congestion last week. (Bernama pic)

GEORGE TOWN: A public market on the outskirts of George Town has been closed after customers failed to comply with social distancing requirements under the movement control order.

The Penang Island City Council (MBPP), in a statement today, said it viewed the non-compliance as a serious matter and took immediate steps to close the market at Kompleks Sri Aman in Paya Terubong, near Air Itam.

“MBPP will continue to monitor business activities throughout the island and will not hesitate to take action against any market, supermarket or business premises which do not adhere to MCO directives,” the statement read.

Scenes of a large crowd at the market, with many not adhering to the social distancing requirement, has gone viral on social media since yesterday.

Last week, the city council enforcement squad, police and Rela took action at Air Itam market after reports of traffic congestion. Roadside hawker stalls were ordered to close.

However, supermarkets have enforced queues and distancing rules for their customers, and community leaders at two others wet markets did the same.

Fake news about Kuching market closure

In Kuching, Sarawak police have urged the public not to believe a rumour that the city’s wet market would be closed for 10 days from Monday.

Sarawak deputy police commissioner Dev Kumar M M Sree said the viral message on the market’s closure was fake news aimed at causing anxiety among the public.

“Markets, supermarkets, grocery shops selling food items are still open and people need not worry, ” he said in a statement tonight. Tough action would be taken against those spreading false news.