WHEN you drive past any towns, you will be appalled by the lack of control in managing not only the potholes, the faulty street lights, faulty traffic lights, clogged drains and the horrible road sweeping tasks, but the illegal advertisements which are so prevalent in every nook and corner.
There is no tree in certain towns which has no nails on them, for the purpose of displaying illegal advertisements mounted on a cardboard or plastic material.
Every lamp post is cluttered with illegal signages of either “earthquake massage”, computer repairs, tuition classes, kindergartens or real estate agents “house for sale “ or “ house for auction”.
The local authorities have failed miserably in controlling and managing this. Why is this so?
I The Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya, (MBPJ) for instance requires an applicant who wants put up a banner or bunting in his shop, to apply in person at its headquarters in Petaling Jaya.
They have to bring their business licence, a sample of the banner, a location map where the banner will be placed, a deposit and also a certification from Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka to show that the language used in the advertisement is correct.
This is an arduous task for one to fulfill. For starters, its hard to get parking at the MBPJ headquarters and the office where you apply for the licence is on the 6th floor.
After submitting your application you have to wait for more than 30 minutes and go to the third floor to make the payment. Then you go back to the 6th floor to collect the approved sticker which you need to stick on the banner.
The approval is only for three months. If the licence expires you must go back to MBPJ and repeat the whole process.
How about the MBPJ and all the local authorities doing this online?
This way the applicant can do it from his office. The forms should be made available online. The applicant can attach all the required documents. There is no need for Dewan Bahasa’s approval for a simple banner as there are enough officers in MBPJ or any local authority who can understand Bahasa Melayu.
The deposit paid should also be refunded automatically once the banner has been removed.
This simple process would certainly help the customer and also reduce the illegal banners and buntings on the streets.
The neglect and lackadaisical attitude of the local authority must be audited and checked regularly.
RAVINDRAN RAMAN KUTTY
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