Legalising the illegal factories

ILLEGAL factories in Selangor export products worth RM3bil annually and the state authorities want to take measures to legalise their operations. 

To acknowledge the economic contribution and the 150,000 job opportunities offered, authorities a few months ago launched a more concerted effort to legalise the 3,165 illegal factories recorded in a census.  

Only factories in operation before January 1, 2005 are eligible for the comprehensive exercise ending by the year-end. Besides legalising operations, the move is aimed at increasing productivity.  

Factories operating without permit, business licence or Certificate of Completion and Compliance (CCC) or operating on agricultural land not converted to industrial land are deemed illegal.  

At a briefing for factory operators in Kajang on Monday, state Housing, Building and Squatters Management Committee chairman Datuk Mokhtar Dahlan said there were 614 illegal factories operating in areas under the Kajang Municipal Council.  

The concentration is in Balakong, Semenyih, Dusun Tua, Hulu Langat and Simpang Balak. Balakong heads the list with more than 200 illegal factories in Balakong Jaya and Kampung Baru Balakong. 

“Factory operators should take up the various incentives packaged by the state government to legalise their operations and to enable Selangor to function as a state with zero illegal factories,” he said. 

“First, the state government intends to cut the time for the legalisation process from six months to three. Power has been handed to the district officer to expedite applications for converting agricultural land for industrial use. 

“We want to ensure all necessary requirements are met governing layout, building plans and safety with the cooperation of the Environment Department, Fire and Rescue Services Department, Syabas and TNB,” he added. 

Other incentives include a 50% discount on industrial land premiums, staggered payment of premiums, assistance for applications and guidance in dealing with the relevant authorities.  

Mokhtar also warned that factory operators who caused noise and air or water pollution would be fined, ordered to cease operations or to shift elsewhere. He said the state government would not tolerate threats to public health and safety. 

The legalisation move is further aimed at beautifying the landscape of factories and having proper buffer zones.  

Papers on licence application procedures, infrastructure implementation and layout and building plan application were presented at the briefing. 

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