Focus View
It’s either inefficiency or corruption
FocusM team | 13 Oct 2017 00:30
There must be something seriously wrong with our enforcement levels if foreigners are able to blatantly ply their trade in government-owned wet markets. 

Recently, it was reported that more than 80% of the stalls in some wet markets were operated by foreigners. Some of them even have the audacity to set up makeshift stalls outside the market. 

The situation was not as bad as a decade ago. At that time, perhaps 10% of the stalls were operated by foreigners. But a lack of monitoring and enforcement over the years has resulted in the deterioration.  

It is no secret the wet markets in Section 25, Shah Alam and the Selayang market in Kuala Lumpur have large numbers of illegal immigrants operating the stalls. 

The low monthly rent at these markets is meant to assist Malaysians to earn a living. But these unscrupulous stallholders hawk their licences for up to RM2,000. 

Perhaps, Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and other local authorities should consider raising the monthly fees to at least RM1,500. After all, DBKL says it is always in need of funds and has even raised the assessment rates in recent years.    

Is it so difficult for DBKL and other local councils to ensure only Malaysians run these stalls by conducting weekly or even daily checks? Isn’t renting them out a breach of the licence?  

If was also reported that the large number of foreign workers in these wet markets has given rise to social problems with fights frequently breaking out, sometimes resulting in murder.  

Then, there is the question of hygiene standards. Can the original tenants of these stalls be held responsible if the safety of the food sold is compromised?      

So let’s stop giving all kinds of silly and flimsy excuses for the lack of enforcement. The local councils and other relevant authorities are paid to do their job and they should do it efficiently.

If they can’t do a simple thing like monitoring stalls in wet markets, how can we depend on them to combat illegal massage parlours, gambling dens and even drug hideouts?     

At the end of the day, there can be only two reasons why this happens. Either those tasked with resolving the problem are totally inefficient or are corrupt.  

If they are inefficient, they should be sacked. If they are corrupt, they should be prosecuted. So, which is it?