IPOH: Stern action will be taken against premises owners who rent out “grave-like” rooms, says the Local Government Development Ministry.
Its minister Nga Kor Ming said the ministry would be working together with local councils and other agencies to monitor those involved in the issue.
"Some of these rented rooms are narrow and small. There is no proper ventilation and windows that might lead to health and fire risks.
"For now, we are giving these premises owners a stern warning first before taking action," he told reporters after attending the ground-breaking ceremony at Pasir Pinji temporary market site here on Sunday (Oct 15).
On Tuesday (Oct 10), Sinar Harian reported that the rooms were initially built for foreign workers but were now mostly rented by university students, ehailing and food delivery riders.
It is learned that all 38 cage-like rooms, measuring 126 sq ft per room, were located at a double-storey shop lot in the Klang Valley.
The rent was between RM300 and RM350 a month, inclusive of electricity and water supply.
Tenants shared a common lounge room, drying area, kitchen and WiFi connection.
Nga said several actions could be taken against the irresponsible premises owners including demolishing the structure and fines.
"There are relevant acts that we can take for example the Street, Drainage and Building Act 1974 (Act 133) Section 79, where local authority or agencies may remove any partitions, compartments, ceiling and other structures.
"The owner shall pay the local authority the cost of expenses of demolishing the structure and more.
"Under the same section, any party can be fined not more than RM500 if convicted and shall also be liable to a further fine not exceeding RM100 every day during which the offence is continued after conviction," he said, adding that those with information about similar issues may lodge reports to the ministry.
"The reports can be made to the Public Report Management System or through the i-Tegur mobile application," he said.