DAP rep says Selangor council officers taking bribes from mall owners

Ronnie Liu (centre) with Selangor DAP publicity secretary Tiew Way Keng (left) outside the Selangor MACC headquarters.

SHAH ALAM: A Selangor DAP leader today lodged a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), accusing officers from a city council in the state of blackmailing shop owners in a popular mall into paying bribes over illegal banners.

Sungai Pelek assemblyman Ronnie Liu said several officers from the council threatened a businessman who operates a food outlet in the mall after he was accused of putting up a bunting without approval.

Liu said the owner had put up the sign for a Hari Raya promotion and did not have time to apply for a permit.

He said enforcement officers told the owner that he could pay them several hundred ringgit to avoid a fine of RM1,000.

The owner eventually paid the bribe.

Liu said the incident was caught on camera, and has been circulating on social media.

“We have the video clearly showing the officer going to the counter (of the shop) and taking money. Clearly, it’s a bribe,” he told reporters when he accompanied the businessman at the Selangor MACC headquarters here.

Liu said four owners from the same mall had been similarly approached by council officers, and that some had paid the bribes.

Liu, a former Selangor exco in charge of local government, said although shop owners must get permits to put up signs outside their premises, there is a clause giving them exceptions.

“If I sell kuih and I put up a promotion – buy five get one free for that day – how will I apply for a permit?” he asked.

“I wouldn’t have time to go to the local council and make an application.”

He said the authorities seemed to be punishing traders using the by-laws.