PETALING JAYA - The massage parlour boom will soon come to an end as the City Hall (DBKL) and Immigration department plan to freeze the permits to run such businesses.
City Hall deputy director-general Datuk Amin Nordin said he and his team have already frozen the permits in certain areas in Kuala Lumpur and will be studying other areas and work towards halting any further development of such businesses.
"Some of the areas where the permits have been frozen include Endah Parade,Taman Rimbunan in Kepong, Jalan Bukit Bintang and more recently Desa Sri Hartamas and Endah Parade in Cheras.
"We are working on setting limitations on the opening of such premises around KL, and these limitations are dependent on the area itself," he said adding that an example would be that an area like Hartamas should not have no more than five parlours in a radius of 10km.
Amin said that DBKL actually permits parlours for foot and body reflexology only.
"Any premise found to be providing any 'extraordinary' services will have their permits revoked and/or have their deposits seized, then brought to court and imposed a compound of no more than RM2,000 (S$778). Such premises will not be allowed to reopen.
"Basically we are looking to bring the growth of this particular service to an end in the country," he added.
Immigration deputy director (enforcement) Saravana Kumar said the workers who come into the country to work in massage parlours were approved under the service sector for reflexology services.
"However, we have frozen the approval for such permits as there have been many such cases where the social passes were abused," he said.
Saravana added that though the issuance of the permit is under the local council and the Tourism Ministry, with the Ops 6P the immigration and the local authorities also get involved.
He explained in a statement that immigrants caught servicing in such parlours will be charged under Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act (2007).
With the growth of the massage business in Malaysia, there have been countless reports on people being offered 'special services' and 'happy ending' massages.
Businessman Pridif Naidu, 30, said the plan of the authorities to put an end to the growth of this business is a great move.
"There can be so many massage parlours condensed in one area, making it seem like it is a hub for indecent activities.
"With the action from the authorities however, the neigbourhood will be able to redeem a better image for itself," he said.
Accountant Wee Chun Wei, 33, said he feels it is not necessary to eradicate the business altogether.
"I do not see the business as a harm to the community, In fact I see it as an attraction for tourists and a revenue medium for the nation," he said.
Chun Wei suggested that the authorities can introduce methods to keep track of the activities going on in such parlours to avoid any 'hanky-panky' business.