War on illegal foreign workers

  • Community
  • Tuesday, 23 Sep 2008

THE Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has declared war on illegal foreign workers working at various City Hall open and wet markets in Kuala Lumpur.

The DBKL said that an immediate solution would be to introduce the tagging system so that only genuine workers employed by the suppliers and traders are allowed to work there.

“Due to the high number of foreign workers at the markets, we feel that it is time we do something about the problem,’’ said Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Ab Hakim Borhan.

Hakim said DBKL did not have the authority to arrest these workers or verify their status but only to confiscate their goods and hence it was difficult to curb their activities.

Spot check: Hakim at the Kuala Lumpur market along with the media, department heads and enforcementofficers from the DBKL.

He said DBKL would be working with the authorities such as the Immigration department and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to ensure the legality of foreign workers working at all markets in the city.

“The tagging system is not something new €” in fact it is in our by-laws and it is time that we implement it so that the problem does not get out of hand,’’ he added.

City Hall petty traders management and development department director Ramly Othman said the government allowed foreign workers under the UNHCR ticket to work at local factories and restaurants but not at open and wet markets without the mayor’s permission.

He added that even localswere not allowed to work at the market without a licence.

“When we conducted a raid on Selayang market recently along with the Immigration and police personnel, we rounded up at least 600 illegal foreign workers. There are more out there,’’ Ramly said.

He added that the tag system would be implemented as soon as possible and suppliers and traders and their hired helpers must display it at all times.

Hakim made this announcement after visiting the Kuala Lumpur wet market and the Selayang market on Monday to check on cleanliness as well as other various issues raised by the public.

He was accompanied by members of the media, department heads and enforcement officers from the DBKL.

The mayor also highlighted the activities of illegal traders at its markets and said that the DBKL would also be issuing car stickers to licensed traders to monitor their activities.

“Traders and suppliers are also required to submit the proper papers and verification each time they enter the market premises.

“We will set up a security base at the entrance of the market area and an enforcement unit would be stationed there to monitor the situation,’’ Hakim said.

The mayor said he hoped once the security base is established DBKL would be able to resolve other problems such as the traffic, cleanliness, rubbish collection, as well as issues pertaining to market and its management.

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