Loan shark ads on the rise in Klang

MORE than 360 phone numbers of money lenders listed on illegal outdoor advertisements over the past three years in Klang have been referred to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) for termination of service.

Klang Municipal Council’s Enforcement Department deputy director Shahrul Hazri Abd Majid said that the loan shark advertisements continue to be put up across the royal town, deliberately flouting municipal by-laws.

“Our department compiled 362 phone numbers of loan sharks found on numerous posters, bunting and banners.

“Most of the numbers given to MCMC were from repeat advertisements,” he said.

Shahrul added that in 2020, MPK referred only 111 phone numbers to MCMC.

Illegal advertisements being unloaded at Klang Council’s Enforcement Department in Jalan Tepi Sungai. — Photos: KK SHAM/The StarIllegal advertisements being unloaded at Klang Council’s Enforcement Department in Jalan Tepi Sungai. — Photos: KK SHAM/The Star

“We noticed the number of illegal advertisements dwindled in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“But in 2021, the number of bunting increased and we referred 170 phone numbers,” he said.

From January to July this year, the number of phone numbers referred to MCMC stood at 81.

“Our department has an Illegal Advertisement Unit (IAU) that goes out every day to remove unlicensed advertisements plastered on pillars and walls and tied to trees and lamp posts,” he said after an operation to remove illegal bunting at Bandar Bukit Tinggi.

Shahrul added that the six-man team at IAU also gets support from the council’s Quick Action Team (Pantas) to remove illegal advertisements.

“These irresponsible acts mar the image of Klang and trees are damaged.

“Our Advertisement By-law 2007 states that no person may erect any advertising sign or banner without the prior written approval of MPK,” he said.

Shahrul added that flagrant disregard for the council’s by-law also places the lives of motorists at risk.

“Bunting tied on poles at traffic intersections obstruct their view.

“This also hampers the view of pedestrians attempting to cross roads,” he said.

Shahrul added that MPK has stepped up efforts to remove illegal advertisements with three shifts, from 8am to 10am, 3pm to 5pm and from 2am to 6am.

MPK’s Quick Action Team Enforcement employee Razali Yussof said that although the illegal advertisements are taken down, new ones would be put up within two days.

“In two hours, we had to remove 300 to 400 illegal advertisements.

“The task is challenging as the advertisements are tied with wire or nailed to trees and lamp posts,” he said.

Shahrul said in 2020, MPK had removed 63,321 illegal advertisements out of which 52,017 were bunting.

“In 2021, 58,574 illegal advertisements were removed, including 51,596 bunting.

“From January to July this year, we took down 26,064 such advertisements which include 22,976 bunting,” he said.

Klang Consumer Association president Devadass Anjan said the council should work with police to nab those putting up illegal advertisements.

“A plainclothes team must be formed for this purpose,” he said.

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