Business owners in the Bandar Baru Sungai Buloh commercial area in Selangor expressed dissatisfaction over Shah Alam City Council’s (MBSA) conduct during a sting operation yesterday.
The business folk were unhappy over how their back lane awnings and loading bays were destroyed during the exercise.
MBSA conducted a joint raid after public criticism over a social media posting by burger stall owner Mohd Asri Hamid on the Enforcement Department’s alleged inefficiency in handling the issue of illegal hawkers and unlicensed premises after his stall was shut.
The operation was carried out with several government agencies to weed out foreign workers and demolish illegal structures.
The police and personnel from Customs, Immigration, Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Air Selangor and MBSA’s Building, Health and Enforcement departments arrived at the scene with bulldozers, dump trucks and excavators.
Though the seizure of furniture, gaming equipment and cutting of power supply at a gambling centre in Jalan Perusahaan 2 as well as clearing of illegal stalls were applauded, the need to tear down awnings and break loading bays was questioned.
They said these additions were crucial to the moving of goods for those selling groceries and in the printing line.
Shamala Mottaiya, a Jalan Perusahaan 3 shop owner, said she and her neighbours only received notices from MBSA to remove the back lane structures the day before.
“The city council should have given us 14 days. By that time, we would have obtained the necessary permit for these structures.
“Now that our awnings have been torn down, who will pay for re-installation once we get the permits?” she complained.
Business owners are pleading with MBSA for leniency as small and medium enterprises are facing economic uncertainties due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
At the briefing before the operation, Shah Alam deputy mayor Mohd Rashidi Ruslan told the 80-strong enforcement team that there would be no entertaining of requests from illegal hawkers for time extensions.
He also cautioned the team not to pay heed to any form of provocation during the clean-up mission at business premises without permits for extensions and additional structures.
“Some 194 premises were issued notices the day before with regard to illegal back lane extensions and action will be taken today if the illegal structures have not been removed.
“We are sending a clear message that MBSA will not compromise with lawlessness, ” said Mohd Rashidi during the raid.
In an answer to a reporter’s question whether the tearing down of illegal building extensions was related to the burger stall issue, Mohd Rashidi said the city council’s action was in line with the Street, Drainage and Building Act 1974.