PETALING JAYA: The next time you spot an advertisement billboard without a licence, call the local council – you may be helping to prevent someone from getting injured, or worse.
According to the local councils as well as the Outdoor Advertising Association of Malaysia (OAAM), many of the unlicensed structures could pose a danger to passers-by.
Industry figures show that there are some 4,500 such structures throughout the country.
In the Klang Valley alone, there are more than 2,000 advertisement billboards along the roads and highways, many bunched together at junctions, and the unlicensed ones are estimated to account for half the number.
Having no licence means that no local authority has ascertained the safety of the structures, said OAAM president Muhamad Shapiae Mat Ali.
“Local councils in the country have on their register 3,319 billboards, of which 2,174 are licensed,” he said.
“However, the association estimates the real number to be more than 4,500 billboards nationwide.” he told The Star.
He said that in Petaling Jaya alone, 500 of the 542 billboards were unlicensed.
However, Petaling Jaya Municipal Council president Datuk Ahmad Termizi Puteh disputed this number but added that he would have to check to come up with the correct figure.
Under the Local Government Act 1976, anyone who wants to erect billboards must have a licence or approval issued by the local council.
Among the dangers cited by the authorities are that the unlicensed structures could topple and injure people passing by or pose hazard by blocking the view of motorists, especially at junctions.
Muhamad Shapiae said that apart from the safety aspect, “because these structures are unlicensed, that would mean that they are uninsured.”
One reason there were many unlicensed billboards was the delay in getting approval from the authorities, he said.
“Delays of between two months and two years in getting licences from local councils are forcing media owners to erect advertising structures without waiting because of clients' demands in a time-sensitive industry,” he said.
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