A poison-pen letter that is making its rounds in political circles and newspaper offices has implicated two politicians and a former policeman in the running of several budget hotels fronting as brothels.
The former cop is said to own these hotels in a working-class neighbourhood in Selangor, while the politicians are said to have received kickbacks for turning a blind eye to these sex dens.
As in all poison-pen letters, there is no evidence to back the allegations but plenty of unsubstantiated juicy bits. The writer has remained anonymous, probably to avoid legal suits and other complications.
Claiming that these brothels were akin to the United Nations with callgirls from several countries, the letter bears photocopied business cards of the “managers” of these brothels.
The letter, accompanied by maps showing the location of these hotels, provided details of the operating hours and even a price list.
Blondes from Uzbekistan and other former Soviet states seem to fetch a higher price than women from Indonesia or China.
Those named in the letters are obviously not amused. The politicians have lodged police reports to clear their names, claiming it was a scam to tarnish their reputations.
The poison-pen letter has been sent to Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo, who is very concerned about what is happening in the state and is determined to embark on a clean-up.
As a start, he is ordering liquor companies to tone down on excessive advertising, especially those showing scantily dressed women.
“If the char koay teow is really good, customers will patronise the coffee shop irrespective of whether it has huge beer advertisements or not,” he said. He has a point.
Coffee-shop owners have protested against the move requiring them to seek approval from the local government to put up liquor advertisements. Some claim it would affect their business.
It is unlikely that their business would suffer but the coffee-shop owners may lose sponsorship, particularly in putting up stalls and signboards.
The state government is obviously more concerned with public complaints that budget hotels and spa centres, fronting as sex dens, are sprouting up. Housewives claimed that their husbands patronise these brothels.
The authorities have ordered a crackdown on such outlets, particularly those operating near residential areas.
Last year, Selangor police caught 1,842 foreign women – a three-fold jump from 605 arrested in 2001. Of those caught last year, 758 were Indonesians, 402 Chinese nationals, 310 Thais and the rest were from Myanmar, Uzbekistan, Cambodia, Russia, the Philippines, Poland and Vietnam.
Ops Kelawar, launched on Dec 22 to close down entertainment outlets using guest relation officers, is expected to intensify over the next two weeks.
The order from the state government is to revoke the licences of errant outlets, seal the premises and cut off water and electricity supplies.
The police, who carried out 1,171 raids last year, said that only 78 of the 300 entertainment outlets in Selangor were registered. Petaling Jaya had the most number of unlicensed outlets at 111, followed by Kajang (32), Ampang (28) and Klang (24).
Dr Khir said that public response to anti-vice measures had been positive, especially from parents.
In fact, Wanita MCA national chairman Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen has suggested that colleges with a substantial number of students involved in vice should be shut down.
The Anti-Corruption Agency should investigate how these unregistered outlets have managed to operate without any interference.
Ops Kelawar would be meaningless if vice syndicates are able to operate again later.
Anti-vice measures should be on-going and not limited to a particular period to pacify the public. Prosecute the rogues behind these syndicates and not just the sex workers.
Otherwise, it would give the impression that the real culprits have not been punished.