Friday, January 15, 2021

Residents exit royal town as clock ticks towards conditional lockdown in Klang

Roads leading out of Klang are congested as many do not want to be 'stuck' for the 2-week lockdown.

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There have been increased movements out of Klang by residents who fear they will be stuck in their homes, ahead of a two-week conditional lockdown which takes effect at midnight.

Checks by MalaysiaNow in Klang revealed that not many were critical of the government’s decision to impose a conditional movement control order (CMCO) following the recent record of some 40 new Covid-19 cases.

Still, many residents do not plan to remain in the royal town, with long queues already building up at police stations of those applying to travel for their routine commutes.

There are also more vehicles on the roads leading out of town.

Traffic was a snarl from Kampung Jawa, one of several areas which will come under CMCO, towards Jalan Kebun and the Setia Alam toll plaza, among the main exits from Klang.

There was also a 10km gridlock from Port Klang to Persiaran Raja Muda on the way to the Federal Highway bound for Kuala Lumpur.

Many who spoke to MalaysiaNow said the memories of the first phase of the MCO which saw the closure of businesses, schools and workplaces, was still vivid.

Shafik Ahmad, an engineer with Petronas who lives in central Klang, said he had applied to work from home.

“I told my wife to take the children to our home town. That is better than being stuck in Klang. They can also spend more time with our folks in the home town,” he told MalaysiaNow.

Ahmad Badlishah also plans to bring his family out of Klang, to stay with his sibling in Seri Kembangan.

He said leaving Klang would enable him to commute to work “without going through restrictions and procedures by the authorities”.

Under the CMCO, those who wish to travel to work within the Klang Valley must produce a letter from their employers to the South Klang district police headquarters.

People wait to be screened for Covid-19 at a clinic in Klang, which will come under conditional lockdown at midnight.

Meanwhile, several major supermarkets in the town have seen an increase in shoppers looking to stock up for the next two weeks.

But the scene is unlike the panic buying spree which occurred in March, days before the government declared the MCO.

At the Aeon Big in Bukit Tinggi, shoppers were seen standing patiently in long lines, and there was no jostling for essential items.

“We must stay calm,” said Haslina, among hundreds of shoppers met at the hypermarket.

“We are still allowed to go out to get our daily needs,” she added.

Business operators had feared a second wave of income loss under the CMCO, but their worries were short-lived as the National Security Council has said they will be allowed to operate as usual.

International Trade and Industry Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali today said he had briefed the council on the importance of Klang’s economic sector.

But he warned that businesses which failed to adhere to health SOPs would have their operations immediately terminated.

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