MBPJ issues 70 compounds in anti-illegal ads drive

Eyesore: MBPJ officers removing an illegal banner during a recent operation.

THE anti-illegal advertisements campaign carried out by the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) has resulted in RM83,000 worth of compounds issued for August and September alone.

The figure was revealed by MBPJ enforcement director Mohd Fawzi Maarop at a press conference yesterday.

Councillor Tiew Way Keng, who heads MBPJ’s anti-illegal advertisement task force, said the campaign focused on unlicensed advertisements, advertisements using fake council permits and those which had lapsed permits.

Both Fawzi and Tiew explained that the prosecution of illegal advertisements was done under the Local Government Act 1976, the council’s advertising by-laws, vandalism by-laws as well as MBPJ’s Trade Licensing, Business and Industries By-laws 2007.

“In 52 operations, we issued 70 compounds, each carrying a maximum amount of RM1,000. Seizure of adult toys also resulted in five compounds issued at the maximum amount as well,” said Fawzi.

He explained that the council also sent officers to the businesses that had put up the illegal advertisements and issued another eight compounds at RM1,000 each.

“The statistics from our enforcement actions from January till September show that bunting comprise the largest number of illegal advertisements, followed by stickers advertising moneylending and Ah Long (illegal moneylender) services and lorry rentals as well,” said Fawzi.

“In total, we took down 100,160 illegal advertisements during that period,” he said.

Fawzi explained that MBPJ officers also carried out undercover operations to trace the printers of the advertisements, including the Ah Longs.

“We cannnot really reveal our mode of operations currently, such as tracing the adult toys’ merchants because they do not deal directly with the caller.”

“The same goes for the illegal moneylenders. It turns out, from our research, that most of the time the numbers pasted are a middleman’s, and it is a long process before someone calls you to offer illegal loans,” Fawzi said.

Tiew said MBPJ was also in the process of tracing the production of fraudulent MBPJ permit stickers for advertisements.

Fawzi said measures taken in the past were not effective as the illegal advertisements would just spring up again after officers had cleared an area.

Yesterday, over 50 MBPJ enforcement officers removed illegal advertisements in PJ Old Town (Section 1), Damansara Uptown and Bandar Sri Damansara.

It was also revealed that there was a RM100 incentive for the public to report persons who were setting up illegal advertisements.

“They can call our hotline and report an illegal advertisement set-up in progress. The proviso is that the offender needs to be successfully caught and compounded for the RM100 incentive to be awarded to the caller,” said Fawzi.

For details, call 03-7954 2020 (24 hours).

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