DBKL moves to control foreign-owned businesses

DBKL enforcement officers confiscating goods from stall manned by foreigners during an operation at the Keramat market in March last year.

KUALA Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has implemented a guideline specifically for applications for business premises licenses by foreign business owners or companies.

The guideline, which came into force on Jan 1, 2017, sets new conditions for foreigners who want to apply for a licence.

"DBKL is not against considering applications by foreign traders and companies, (and will do so) by looking at certain aspects," said DBKL corporate communication director Khalid Zakaria in a statement today. (Refer to list of aspects at the bottom) 

Khalid said DBKL encouraged the participation of legitimate foreign companies and foreigners in the business community of Kuala Lumpur. 

"However, DBKL has been flooded with foreign business operators at an uncontrollable rate, especially in the sundry business and other types of businesses in Kuala Lumpur. 

"This situation has had a bad impact on local business operators and affects Kuala Lumpur's reputation," he said. 

According to Khalid, DBKL would be checking all business licence applications and would also be vetting the type of businesses that would be allowed for foreigners. 

He said that people who wanted to apply for a business premise license in Kuala Lumpur had to present additional documents, including staff registration form.

"The number of local staff has to be more than 50% of the overall number staff," he said. 

In its statement, DBKL provided a list of business activities that were off limits to foreigners, including petty trading, mini marts, sundry shops, 24-hours mini marts, mamak stalls, food, bistro or cafe operations (except exclusive or international brands), and barber shops. 

Among the conditions set are as follows:

1) The company has to be registered with a capital of more than RM1mil.

2) The company must not operate in locations that has been identified as being concentrated by foreign traders such as a) Jalan Silang, Jalan Tun Tan Siew Sin and its surrounding areas; b) Jalan Bukit Bintang and its surrounding areas; c) Leboh Ampang, Leboh Pasar and its surrounding areas; d) Jalan Chow Kit, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and its surrounding areas; e) Jalan Masjid India and its surrounding areas; f) Jalan Kenanga and its surrounding areas; g) Pusat Bandar Utara, Selayang; h) or any areas that will be mentioned from time to time.

3) The company can only operate with business activities that encompass office administration only. 

4) The company has to get support from agencies that encourage investment or from authorites such as Bank Negara,  International Trade and Industry (MITI) ministry and Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry. 

5) The company brings products or services with international or exclusive brands that are not available in Malaysia. 

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