Councillors were shocked when Shah Alam Mayor Datuk Ahmad Zaharin Mohd Saad revealed the case during the Shah Alam full board meeting yesterday.
The staff member submitted said claim for August saying that the overtime task was done for five hours on a Sunday.
Ahmad Zaharin said the council had turned down the claim after conducting an internal investigation.
“I take these things very seriously, and I believe everyone should do the same because this involves the Rakyat’s money,” he stressed.
The council has also held back some 200 claims out of 500 for the month of September, for further scrutiny as well.
Ahmad Zaharin said day-to-day tasks should be completed within the working hours of 8am to 5pm, and not at the “whim-and-fancy” of staff members. He stressed that they would no longer entertain such claims without explicit approval from the heads of departments.
“Overtime claims need prior approval from the heads of departments, this is something we have been practising but somehow it is not being followed through. However, after this there will be no compromise on the issue,” he added.
Councillors approved of the mayor’s decision to stop the payout and even requested that severe action be taken, including the lodging of police reports, for similar cases.
The issue was first raised by councillor Awang Ibrahim who said he received complaints from several MBSA officers who said their overtime claims were not allowed.
In another interesting move by the council, it was suggested that enforcement officers might have to take lessons on dismantling snooker tables in the near future.
Ahmad Zaharin said the council had a tough time cracking down on snooker centres as they were unable to confiscate the expensive, heavy tables during raids. This allowed the centres to continue operations almost immediately.
He said the summons and fines were negligible for these centres as their main asset was still within reach.
“The most we can take away is the Cue sticks and the snooker balls, but they can easily purchase those. However, reassembling a snooker table is harder and if we can confiscate them, it will reduce the number of illegal centres in Shah Alam,” he added.
They are also looking at more stringent bylaws to help curb the increasing number of alternative medicine and massage centres.
“The fine for enforcement and business offences are rather small, so no one is afraid to flout these bylaws. We need to tighten the law and look for alternative measures during raids. We need to be one step ahead,” the mayor said.
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