KUALA TERENGGANU — The atmosphere during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period in Redang Island and Perhentian Island is quieter than during the monsoon season.
This is due to the current circumstances during which no tourism activities are allowed, and the residents also do not carry out much activities, but to remain at home in compliance with the order.
Pulau Perhentian Village Community Management Council (MPKK) chairman Mohd Zakuan Mad Nasir said that during the monsoon season, although there is no tourists on the island, life goes on normal for the locals as they still go to food stalls, gather at the surau for prayers and and also attend wedding ceremonies and other events.
“However, with the MCO, the residents choose to remain at home because they understand the importance of adhering to the rule so that the government’s aim to break the chain of the COVID-19 infection is achieved,” he said when contacted by Bernama today.
Based on observation, the supply of daily necessities for more than 2,000 people on the island is still sufficient for another week or two.
“Recently, the state government provided assistance for the affected families and some non-governmental organisations (NGOs) also came to deliver basic necessities such as rice, flour, milk, sugar and cooking oil.
“Most of the villagers are fishermen, so they still go to the sea, but not far out, as that is their only source of income, but they comply with the MCO to be back by 6 pm,” he said, adding that so far, there is no COVID-19 positive case reported on the island.
Tourism activities in Pulau Perhentian and Pulau Redang were ceased for four months following the monsoon season and programmes for the new tourism calendar year were supposed to start last March 1, but postponed due to the MCO.
Despite the inconvenience, the residents comply with the order and this is acknowledged by the Malaysian Civil Defence Force (APM) coordinator of the Pulau Redang Unit, Lieutenant Awang Azmi Kamarulzaman.
Awang Azmi, who is from the island himself, said despite living on the island and being isolated from the mainland, it did not mean that they had no contact with the outside world and could defy the MCO.
“This is because authorities like APM, RELA and the Royal Malaysian Police continue to monitor the movement of the residents to ensure that they also practice social distancing when going out to buy groceries at nearby shops.
“Although they are allowed to go out to the mainland for important purposes, so far there has been no movement in and out of the island. The compliance to MCO by residents on the island is very satisfactory,” he added.
Meanwhile, Batu Rakit State Assemblyman Bazlan Abdul Rahman said Pulau Redang is one of the main locations where aid is sent as the island is farther from the mainland.
“We have delivered food supplies to the island on March 30 and will continue to deliver essential items if MCO is extended.
“The Batu Rakit State Assemblyman’s office is in constant contact with the Social Welfare Department, APM, RELA and the police to safeguard the welfare of about 2,000 people on the island during MCO,” he added.