Local authorities have no power to order closure of factories in Selangor, says state exco

State Local Government and Public Transport Committee chairman Ng Sze Han said Section 107(2) of the Local Government Act 1976 (Act 171) did not elaborate on the power of local authorities to issue a closure order on factories. — File picture by Miera Zulyana
State Local Government and Public Transport Committee chairman Ng Sze Han said Section 107(2) of the Local Government Act 1976 (Act 171) did not elaborate on the power of local authorities to issue a closure order on factories. — File picture by Miera Zulyana

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SHAH ALAM, July 14 ― Local authorities (PBT) in Selangor have no power to issue a closure order on factories to curb the spread of Covid-19 in their areas as the power lies with the federal government, State Local Government and Public Transport Committee chairman Ng Sze Han said today.

He said Section 107(2) of the Local Government Act 1976 (Act 171) did not elaborate on the power of PBT to issue a closure order on factories.

Although Section 107 (2) was referred to as giving absolute power to PBT to revoke the (factoring operating) licence, Ng said the revocation of the licence must be done in accordance with the conditions and parameters stated in the licence at the time it was issued, rather than arbitrarily or without basis.

“The factory operating licence issued by the PBT is only subject to Act 171.

“It does not include health issues relating to the prevention and control of infectious disease because such matters are subject to health law enforced by the federal government through the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342),” he said in a statement here in response to the demand for PBT to issue a closure order on factories following the surge of COVID-19 in Selangor.

Ng said the Operating Procedures or the standard operating procedures (SOP) were complied with and enforced under Act 342 since March 18 last year.

He said this includes the movement control order (MCO) and enhanced MCO (EMCO) which were currently in force almost all over the state.

He explained that even though Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan have amended Section 2(1) of the Emergency (Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases) (Amendment) Ordinance 2021 on March 3 this year, it did not mean the PBT has the power to order the closure of the factories.

“The amendment was made to enable environmental health officers in PBT areas to help ensure compliance of the SOP and federal government’s instructions,” he said.

In conclusion, he said the PBT in Selangor have been carrying out their duties transparently and responsibly in accordance with the parameters of the law as well as the doctrine of “rule of law” and “fair and equitable treatment” as stated in Act 342. ― Bernama

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