THE Selangor government is offering over 3,700 factories operating illegally a chance to apply for licences and permits.
These factories located on agriculture land need not apply for a conversion to industrial land.
Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo said the state executive council decided during its meeting on Wednesday to issue licences and permits to the factories as long as they applied by the end of this year.
He said the factories could apply at the respective district land offices but they would be charged quit rent calculated according to the higher rates set for industrial land.
He said the offer was only open to factories built on land belonging to the respective companies.
“We have been facing a long-standing problem of factories not adhering to regulations such as those on pollution and we cannot take action against them because the factories are unlicensed,” Dr Khir said.
He said some of the factory owners claimed they were unable to apply for the conversion of land use because they could not afford to pay the premiums totalling about RM20,000.
He said their only option was to shut down the factories but this would leave thousands of employees out of work.
He said the state government also ran the risk of companies relocating their factories to neighbouring countries if the government policies were seen to be too strict.
“We are offering a 50% discount on premiums to those who want to convert the land use. We hope the factory owners will take advantage of this offer that is open only until the end of this year,” he said.
Dr Khir also dismissed claims by certain quarters that factories were hiring more foreigners than locals.
He said 70% of the workforce comprised Malaysians. “The 30% of foreigners have jobs that Malaysians refused to do,” he said.