BUKIT MERTAJAM: The town here resembles a city in Bangladesh or Nepal during weekends and public holidays, according to Berapit assemblyman Heng Lee Lee.
“It has got to a point where foreigners are openly trading by the roadside.
“Bukit Mertajam folk are concerned about this with complaints about a lack of hygiene, littering, sound pollution and traffic chaos, ” she said.
Berapit is one of the three state constituencies under the Bukit Mertajam parliamentary seat.
While foreigners who married Malaysians should be allowed to operate businesses, Heng suggested that landlords who rented homes to them should be made to pay a “Foreigners Residence Management Services Fee” to the local councils.
“The problem comes from those who lease their businesses to foreigners. They escape from paying taxes and play a part in the many social problems that crop up.
“They even make the public think that the authorities are not doing their job controlling the foreigners, ” she said, adding that local councils should consider revoking the business licences of those leasing their businesses to foreigners.
Heng said when landlords rented their properties to foreigners to stay, it became a burden to local councils because of the acute pressure on urban services such as trash collection.
“The Federal Government earns a levy from the hiring of foreign workers, the landlords get an income from renting out homes but the state government and councils bear the burden of servicing residential estates where homes meant for six people are being shared by 10 to 20 foreign workers.
“The local councils should impose this fee and if there are public complaints of landlords renting to foreign workers without paying the fee, a stiff penalty should be imposed, ” she said.
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