JOHOR BARU: The Johor government has ordered all its 16 local councils to take stern action against foreigners found operating businesses in the state.
Johor local government and housing committee chairman Ayub Jamil said the state government did not want to see foreign workers running hawker centres, wet market stalls and business premises owned by local councils.
“This action is being taken to protect local businesses which have been badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Local councils are banned from giving permits or licences to foreign workers to trade. There will be no compromise on this, ” he said in a statement.
Ayub said all local authorities had been directed to check the status of traders and conduct inspections at public markets and premises, in accordance to the local councils’ traders by-laws.
He said Malaysian traders who employed foreigners or leased out their businesses to the latter would face action as well.
“We will revoke their licences for both the business and the premises if they are found doing so. This also includes locals married to foreigners, as they are not allowed to open businesses under their spouses’ names, ” he added.
Ayub said the state government saw the prohibition on employment of foreign workers as a solution to curb illegal business activities.
“In the course of conducting operations, the authorities find that these foreigners often give the excuse that they are merely employees and not the actual business owners.
“This is also an initiative to help the authorities detect individuals found guilty of employing foreign workers, especially those without a permit or are illegal immigrants, ” he said.