KUALA Lumpur mayor Datuk Mohd Amin Nordin Abd Aziz’s proposal of caning for offenders guilty of putting up illegal advertisements may have caught attention and raised eyebrows, but it is a last-ditch effort to win the war against the mounting problem.
Mohd Amin said the number of illegal posters, banners, bunting and stickers would breach the one million mark by the end of the year, and that was very worrying.
“The caning suggestion was only a statement to find out whether people agree. Some agree and some do not, but either way to make it happen is not easy,” he admitted.
“We will have to prepare amendments to the by-law first and submit them to the Federal Territories Ministry for discussion.
“For now, we will continue to issue compounds to those putting up illegal advertisements,” he said during a residents’ association dinner gathering.
“We want to review the existing compounds and make amendments to increase the maximum fine from RM2,000 to RM50,000 as a deterrent.
“Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has since the beginning of the year terminated almost 500 of the cellphone numbers found listed on the illegal bunting and posters,” he added.
Mohd Amin said Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) would consider imposing tougher penalties against those putting up illegal advertisements, similar to the practice in Singapore.
Currently a maximum of RM2,000 compound is imposed for the offence of putting up illegal advertisements in the city. The penalty is provided for under Advertisement By-laws (Federal Territory) 1982 and the Vandalism By-laws (Federal Territory Kuala Lumpur) 1991.
A DBKL Legal Department spokesman said the proposal to amend the existing by-laws to include caning for those putting up illegal advertisements could only be considered after holding discussions with legal advisors from the FT Ministry and the Attorney-General’s Chambers.
Apart from compounds and imprisonment, she said DBKL was working closely with MCMC and the Special Task Force to Facilitate Business (Pemudah) to bar phone numbers displayed on illegal advertisements and blacklist owners of the numbers.
According to DBKL Corporate Planning Department assistant administrative officer Hassan Azhari Abu Bakar, the courts decide on punishment against those caught red- handed for putting up illegal advertisements.