Thousands leave Penang island

Desperate escape: A traffic jam behind a manned road block along the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway, Penang.
The Star/Asia News Network

GEORGE TOWN - Thousands of commuters still want to leave the island via the Penang Bridge even as police tighten the roadblock.

Although the movement control order (MCO) entered its sixth day, thousands of cars still plied Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway yesterday from the city to the bridge.

But each motorist wanting to get on the bridge was thoroughly questioned by the police and army, causing a massive traffic jam.

The roadblock was in the middle of the Penang Bridge-Bayan Lepas junction.

Any motorist who did not have a satisfactory reason to cross the Penang channel was not allowed onto the bridge.

Few cars were seen being allowed to cross.

A staff member of a research organisation at Batu Maung said he was stuck in the traffic jam for almost two hours.

"Normally, it takes me only 30 minutes to arrive at my workplace."

"The roadblock was from Tesco Egate to the junction to either mainland or Bayan Lepas," he said, adding that he only reached his office at 10.40am.

Another commuter, K. Ganesh, said he saw police carefully querying every driver who wanted to cross.

"I saw several cars with Johor, Melaka and Perak licence plates heading for the bridge."

"There are also still so many motorists wanting to cross Penang Bridge," he said.

ALSO READ: You won't believe some of the reasons Penangites crossed the bridge despite movement control order

George Town OCPD Asst Comm Soffian Santong said the roadblocks were not meant to make life difficult for the public but to ensure that the MCO was adhered to.

"We hope that the public can comply with the rules and refrain from going anywhere without a valid reason."

"Stay home. Maybe by doing that, we can at least minimise the traffic jam," he said.

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