Defiant business owners in Selangor get warning


  • Metro News
  • Friday, 20 Mar 2020

MPS enforcement officers on their rounds to warn roadside food stalls operating as usual in Selayang on the first day of movement control.

ALL eyes are on eateries and open-air markets in Selangor as enforcement officers and the police make their rounds to ensure that all abide by the movement control order (MCO).

On the first day the order came into effect, many were seen flouting it by going about their daily business as usual.

Only hypermarkets, supermarkets, convenience stores and wet markets housed in buildings (pasar awam) are allowed to operate, as outlined by the MCO announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on Monday.

Some morning markets in residential areas were seen open for business at various locations

statewide while several eateries still accepted dine-in customers.

The morning markets that opened for business as usual on Wednesday were packed with shoppers who were busy buying the necessities, such as fish, meat, fruits and vegetables.

Some restaurants were closed while others that did open for business only handled takeaways and delivery orders.

Customers were seen lining up at restaurants and stalls to place their orders.

Asked if action could be taken against those who defy the MCO, state Local Government, Public Transport and New Village Development Committee chairman Ng Sze Han said it was under the jurisdiction of the police.

“We can only assist the police if there is a request from them or the Federal Government to step in to take action,” he said.

Meanwhile, a few local councils in Selangor conducted checks at markets, eateries and council-owned premises on their own initiative.

Selayang Municipal Council (MPS) went down to the ground and reminded business owners to follow the rules or risk facing time in jail for defying the MCO.

“We are monitoring business premises in Selayang. On the first day itself, we issued notices to a few proprietors,” said MPS corporate communications director Mohamad Zin Masoad in a statement.

He added that the notices were issued under Section 24 of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342) where even first-time offenders could face imprisonment, a fine or both.

Among premises MPS visited that were still open for business were carwash centres, street hawkers and an anchovies wholesale outlet.

“We take this matter very seriously and we urge operators to stop ignoring the order from the Government which is aimed at

preventing the further spread of Covid-19,” Zin said.

In Shah Alam, most of the shops visited by Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) enforcement officers had abided by the MCO.

“A majority of the premises we visited today (Wednesday) obeyed the order and only a handful of them still continued operating as usual.

“For those outlets, we advised them to shut immediately,” said MBSA corporate communications head Shahrin Ahmad.

He said 18 teams were mobilised throughout the city comprising officers from the Licensing, Enforcement, Health and Environment departments.

Among locations visited were Section 13, food stalls and other premises in sections 11, 8, U10, U13, 32, 19, U1, 25, 27 and 17.

Checks were done not only at eateries but also pet shops, car wash outlets, factories and various other non-essential services.

Similarly, Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) enforcement officers also went around advising business operators who were not supposed to be open for business, to close.

“Our enforcement officers have also checked our council-owned premises that have been instructed to close for these two weeks,” said MPSJ corporate and strategic management deputy director Azfarizal Abdul Rashid.

Meanwhile, the video of a morning market in Teluk Bunut, Banting still open for business, which was spread via Whatsapp on Wednes-day, was also visited by the Kuala Langat Municipal Council (MPKL) enforcement officers.

This daily morning market, which consisted of about 30 stalls, was told to shut down operations immediately and traders were made to pack their stuff and leave after a verbal warning was given.

“If they fail to follow and still continue operating, a notice of disobedience will be issued by our Environmental Health officer and further action will be taken by the police,” MPKL said in a statement.

The statement also reminded people that they could do their grocery shopping at the public markets (pasar awam) in Banting, Jenjarom and Tanjung Sepat which will remain open, along with supermarkets and convenience stores.In the Sepang and Ampang Jaya municipalities, notices were issued to all business premises to adhere to the restriction order.

Both local councils said regular checks would be carried out by their enforcement teams.

Kajang Municipal Council (MPKj) and the police held a joint operation comprising officers from the council’s Enforcement and Licensing departments.

“During our inspection rounds, we issued notices to business owners in the Kajang municipality and notified them on the do’s and don’ts for the duration of the order, until March 31,” said MPKj Enforcement director Shariman Mohd Nor.

Meanwhile, the police were also carrying out patrols around the Klang Valley to ensure business owners adhered to the MCO.

Police patrol cars were spotted in Brickfields in Kuala Lumpur and Phileo Damansara in Petaling Jaya on Wednesday where officers were seen carrying out checks on several restaurants.

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