PETALING JAYA: The Home Ministry wants those intimidated by tontos informers engaged in foiling enforcement work against vice, pirate VCD rings and lorry overloading to report the incidents to police.
Deputy Home Minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung said the informers would be arrested and charged if they were found intimidating public servants and politicians.
He called on enforcement officers and politicians to immediately alert police if their work was obstructed by the tontos.
Commenting on a case where 50 cars tailed the vehicle of Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo after he made a spot check on a suspected sleaze joint, Chor said police would provide adequate protection for Dr Khir.
Police have initiated a probe on the incident highlighted by Dr Khir, said Chor.
He said police had been arresting and charging the thugs from time to time.
The word tonto - an abbreviation for tolong orang nak tipu orang (helping one to cheat the other) - was coined by Road Transport Department (JPJ) officers in Selangor nine years ago when the services of the thugs were mainly confined to helping drivers of overloaded lorries evade JPJ checks.
More recently, their activities spread to include alerting suspected prostitution dens, software pirates and illegal video arcades.
There have been cases of tontos brazenly damaging vehicles of the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry, local authorities and JPJ.