There were no long queues when the authorities arrived at the Bangladesh High Commission Passport Service Centre in Jalan Besar Ampang this morning after locals expressed fear that it was a Covid-19 time bomb.
When Twenytwo13 visited the area at 10am, there were more policemen and enforcement officers from the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council than Bangladeshi nationals.
“We have never seen so many enforcement officers at the high commission since they moved here four years ago,” said David Sam Hoo Wai, the chairman of the Ampang Market Association.
“We hope there will be continuous monitoring by the authorities to ensure all visitors are adhering to the Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) to curb the spread of Covid-19,” said Sam.
Yesterday, Twentytwo13 highlighted how the lines at Jalan Besar Ampang start forming daily as early as 4am with Bangladeshis flocking to get their paperwork done. Most of them wear masks but do not observe the 1m physical distancing rule. In fact, they tend to group together while waiting for their turn.
The visitors are forced to wait under the sun or take shelter at shops when it rains. All this happens because the high commission’s processing mechanism is not systematic.
An official from the high commission told Twentytwo13 there was no issue of non-adherence of social distancing claiming visitors are unable to queue up properly because of vehicles parked by the roadside.
When it was pointed out that the vehicles were parked at designated parking lots, the official said he will not comment further and insisted that Twentytwo13 contact the high commission directly.
A long-time Ampang resident Lai Chen Heng said daily enforcement may not be ideal but a long-term solution should be considered.
“There is an empty plot of land opposite the high commission which can be temporarily used for the visitors.”
“A makeshift tent with chairs can be placed to ensure visitors not only have shelter but adhere to all SOPs,” he said.
Here is today’s round-up of The News Normal.
YOUTUBER’S HUSBAND PLEADS NOT GUILTY
M. Sugu, the husband to YouTube chef S. Pavithra, claimed trial to possessing an offensive weapon at the Ipoh Sessions Court.
Sugu was charged under Section 6 (1) of the Corrosive and Explosive Substances and Offensive Weapons Act 1958 which provides for a minimum jail sentence of five years and a maximum of 10 years if found guilty.
It is alleged he had a 26-inch sickle at the Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital’s Palliative Ward parking space about 6pm on Tuesday.
GOVT REASSURES SOCIAL MEDIA USERS THEY CAN CREATE VIDEOS
Malaysians can produce videos on social media without applying for a licence as the Communications and Multimedia Ministry reiterated it would amend laws to ensure they are current and relevant.
Yesterday, minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah caused a kerfuffle when he said a National Film Development Corporation (Finas) licence was needed for videos/films on traditional platforms and even social media. He later clarified his ministry has no intention of cracking down on social media users.
MOO-VE ALONG, NOTHING TO SEE HERE
Times are hard with many struggling to make ends ‘meat’.
And in a desperate bid to smuggle 15 cows worth more than RM70,000 across Sungai Golok yesterday, a man was arrested. Two of his accomplices, however, fled.
The 8th Infantry Brigade headquarters said two motorcycles were also seized.
CLARIFY FACE MASK RULE, SAYS LAM THYE
Alliance for Safe Community chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said the government should define “public places” and “crowded areas” as wearing of face masks will be compulsory from Aug 1.
“It is generally understood that once we leave the privacy of our homes, we are in a public place. Does it mean that face masks are compulsory once we are outside our homes?” he asked in a statement.
“If we are in a public park, and there is nobody else around except for a couple of others, does it mean we cannot ditch our face masks momentarily to breathe in some fresh air?”
He added the government must also define the number of people that constitutes a crowded place.
CHOC MAKER FINDS NEW WAYS TO BOOST LOCAL MARKET SHARE
Local premier chocolate manufacturer Benns Ethicoa is looking to increase its local market share as the Covid-19 pandemic eats into its overseas market.
Its executive director Wilfred Ng told Twentytwo13: “Sixty per cent of our products are for the overseas market, mainly in Asia. With the Covid-19 situation, it means we are likely to suffer a 40 per cent drop in revenue this year. One way to overcome this is to find new markets such as increasing local consumption.”