Allowing FT traders to open shop ‘anywhere’ invites lawlessness, says Teresa Kok

A vendor selling Indian sweets and snacks waits for customers ahead of Deepavali celebrations in Leboh Ampang, Kuala Lumpur November 10, 2020. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
A vendor selling Indian sweets and snacks waits for customers ahead of Deepavali celebrations in Leboh Ampang, Kuala Lumpur November 10, 2020. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 12 — Seputeh MP Teresa Kok warned the government today that it was setting itself up for disaster by allowing residents in the Federal Territories to open up shop anywhere.

The Opposition lawmaker was responding to Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa’s announcement that residents in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan may trade freely anywhere within their cities from next week in an attempt to boost the economy battered by Covid-19 and the series of travel restrictions since March.

“It is as though the minister had likened the Federal Territories to his parliamentary district Ketereh, where anyone can set up a stall just anywhere and sell anything they wish.

“This statement is very dangerous because it will lead to opening of floodgates for people in the respective federal territories to break laws set by respective local councils,” Kok said while debating the Budget 2021 Bill in the Dewan Rakyat.

Arau MP Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim then interjected, but Kok cut him short and sarcastically asked if he wished to set up a nasi lemak stall on Jalan Parlimen.

“Arau, you want to set up a stall and sell nasi lemak tomorrow on Jalan Parlimen where there are many policemen?

“OK, Speaker, tomorrow Arau wants to set up a nasi lemak stall on Jalan Parlimen and all the MPs, we will go and support him,” she said.

Annuar, who is also Keterah MP announced two days ago that residents in the three federal territories may open up business anywhere from November 15 to April 15 next year.

He said the decision was made after his ministry met with the Kuala Lumpur City Hall, Putrajaya Corporation and Labuan Corporation to enable Malaysians to earn money during the movement control restrictions to curb Covid-19.

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