City council promises to help solve illegal trader problem at i-City

Hand-to-hand: A CCTV grab of the tussle between i-City’s security team and the illegal traders on Jan 18 inside the security room.

THE Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) has promised to assist prominent tourism centre i-City, in removing all illegal traders from the latter’s premises.

MBSA Corporate Communications deputy director Shahrin Ahmad said the council would be contacting i-City’s management team soon to help solve the problem.

He said this in reply to i-City’s decision to temporarily close operations of the Leisure Park@i-City for three days as a sign of protest against the increasing number of illegal traders in their premises.

The park is expected to reopen its doors to visitors tomorrow.

The Star reported the decision to close down the park after the traders verbally and physically threatened i-City staff on Jan 18.

Over the last one year several police reports had been lodged against the traders.

Problems first surfaced at the end of 2012 with traders selling various items, including food and fake jewellery.

In December last year, i-City said the activities were even extended to jaga kereta (illegal parking attendant) operations.

Unable to control them, i-City even offered some of the traders opportunities to trade in the kiosks.

I-Berhad deputy chairman Datuk Eu Hong Chew said there were too many traders and they could not accommodate everyone.

“The attempt to place them at kiosks was not successful as the traders preferred to operate outside the kiosk zone.

“They also want to locate their stalls in the centre of the park rather than within the designated areas,” said Eu in a statement.

Based on the experience i-City strengthened its enforcement efforts with its own security personnel.

Eu said that enforcement action by MBSA had been limited.

He added that they had also requested assistance from the police but were told that it was a local council matter.

When asked if MBSA had any authority inside the entertainment park as it was on private land, Eu said that it did.

“Although i-City is a private property, as an open theme park, it is difficult for us to prevent them from entering the site.

“We have frequently sought MBSA’s assistance and even submitted a proposal for them to have a dedicated enforcement team based here with costs covered by us.

“Unfortunately, this proposal has never been realised,” added Eu.

The management also believed the traders were behind an arson attack last year at the Red Carpet wax museum.

Eu said the traders have become a safety concern for visitors and staff who were being harassed by the peddlers.

“We cannot condone this any longer as the image of Leisure Park @i-City as a safe and secure tourism attraction will be badly affected,” he added.

The park is a family entertainment centre spread over 10ha of land and boasts four main themes – the City of Digital Lights, SnoWalk, Waterworld, and FunWorld.

It attracts about 90,000 visitors to its iconic attractions including the wax museum, Red Carpet, the Space Mission as well as the Trick Art Museum.

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