THE Seberang Prai Municipal Council (MPSP) is concerned over the high number of illegal billboards on the mainland that ‘deceivingly’ carry the council’s logo.
The council’s Billboards and Banners Taskforce chairman Md Jamil Abd Rahman said these billboards, which were not approved by the council, did not carry the council’s permit reference number.
“From January till February this year, we identified 190 illegal billboards throughout Seberang Prai.
“Since the beginning of the month, we have removed 39 such billboards, while the remaining ones will be removed in stages if the owners fail to respond to our notices,” he said on Monday.
Md Jamil, who was speaking to reporters after observing council workers remove five illegal billboards in Bukit Minyak, said that under the council’s Advertisement By-laws 2001, those who put up billboards illegally could be fined up to RM500.
He said advertisers needed to apply for permits from the council that cost a minimum of RM1,000 a year.
“I am afraid many advertisers have fallen prey to unscrupulous advertising agents that may have collected money from them but failed to submit permit applications for their billboards.
“Instead, the agents may have merely printed the council logo on the clients’ billboards without having the necessary permits,” he said.
Md Jamil said many advertisers came to know about this only after the council requested them to produce the permits for the billboards.
He added that throughout last year, the council lost RM243,200 in billboard permit collection as well as in money spent to remove illegal billboards.
Earlier, more than 40 workers from the council’s enforcement and engineering departments took part in the operation to take down the illegal billboards.