Five PPBM members disciplined over Ramadan bazaar rent-seeking

Masjid India is a popular shopping area in the heart of the city during Ramadan. — Picture by Azinuddin Ghazali
Masjid India is a popular shopping area in the heart of the city during Ramadan. — Picture by Azinuddin Ghazali

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PETALING JAYA, Sept 27 ― Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) punished five of its members today for allegedly renting out Ramadan bazaar stalls to traders for much higher than city rates in June.

In a press conference today, PPBM president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the party has decided to suspend four of its members for one year, while the other was let off with stern warning.

“The disciplinary committee of the party has made the decision to take action against those who had the misconduct and party discipline violation report filed against them.”

“Secondly, this is to do with the case that happened at the Ramadan bazaar in Jalan Masjid India, Kuala Lumpur. There are five members who were brought to face the disciplinary committee and punished,” he said.

The members are Mohd Norhisyam Abd Karim, Shamsul Anuar Mohd Khairi, Abdul Razak Zabir, Azrul Fiesal Abdullah and Mohd Nurhalis Shafiq Sham Suri.

Mohd Norhisyam, who is PPBM Bukit Bintang Youth chief, was suspended for a year and given a stern warning, while his deputy Shamsul was let off with a stern warning.

The division’s secretary, Abdul Razak, was also handed the same fate as Mohd Norhisyam, while Azrul, who is the division’s information chief, was suspended for a year.

Muhd Nurhalis, PPBM’s Putrajaya division committee member, was also suspended for a year.

All the suspensions will take effect October 20.

Traders operating Ramadan bazaar stalls along Jalan Masjid India accused Mohd Norhisyam of using his political connections to impose additional “rental” of at least RM1,500 on them.

He reportedly secured 80 bazaar lots in Jalan Masjid India from Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) for RM6,238.40 and allegedly rented them out for as high as RM5,000 per lot through middlemen.

DAP’s Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lun had also admitted to issuing a letter of support to Mohd Norhisyam when approached to back his application to set up stalls in Masjid India, a popular shopping area in the heart of the city, during the fasting month of Ramadan in order to help other traders make some money for Hari Raya Puasa.

On June 14, The Star reported that DBKL had rejected Mohd Norhisyam's initial application, but relented when they received Fong's support letter.

Fong clarified that his intention was to help the traders, adding that approval was still subject to conditions imposed by City Hall and that no other charges should be imposed on the traders apart from those issued by the local authority.

He had also threatened to sue his Mohd Norhisyam after the controversy broke out.

Mohd Norhisyam had also lodged a police report to clear his name.

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