SHAH ALAM, July 31 — A new Selangor enactment is being drawn up to empower local authorities to deal with foreigners illegally using local business licences, a state exco said today.
Ng Sze Han (PH-Kinrara) told the state assembly during question time today that powers granted to local authorities and their enforcers to act against such foreigners were currently severely restricted.
“We are aware that the practice of Ali Baba is still widespread. One of the problems facing the local authorities is that their power is limited. They have no authority to arrest foreigners. Only the police and the Immigration Department officers can do that.
“Therefore, most operations conducted by the local authorities are a joint operation involving the Immigration Department and the police, to ensure that the operation is more effective.
“The Selangor state government is aware of this problem. So we are in the midst of coming up with a new enactment (to answer this problem) and it is still in the process (of being drafted),” said the local government, public transport and new villages development chairman.
Ng was replying to a supplementary question by Mohd Fakhrulrazi Mohd Mokhtar (PH-Meru) who demanded stiffer punishment against the errant licence holders and their illegal foreign partners.
Currently, local authorities can only issue compounds and cancel the licences of small traders found guilty of allowing non-Malaysians to use their business licences.
Lau Weng San (PH-Banting) and Gunarajah George (PH-Sentosa) had pointed out that many illegal foreign traders operate at the various night markets, which portrayed enforcement activity against them as ineffective.