Illegal traders throw firecrackers at Malaysian council officers

Illegal traders throw firecrackers at Malaysian council officers
FLEE MARKET: Illegal traders hastily packing away their goods and tables as officers arrive

Illegal traders at the Kampung Baru public market in Penang have allegedly resorted to hurling insults, threats and even firecrackers at enforcement officers from a municipal council who tried to stop them from doing business.

The Seberang Prai Municipal Council president Maimunah Mohd Sharif said that some illegal traders had obstructed officers from carrying out their duties, adding that one enforcer was injured, reported Malaysia's The Star.

"The traders repeatedly insulted the personnel. One even stood in front of the council truck to prevent officers from leaving while another climbed in to remove the seized goods.

"Firecrackers were hurled at our personnel," she told reporters at the market on Friday.

Ms Maimunah said three police reports for hooliganism have been lodged this year against these traders.

"If these continue, the council will not hesitate to take legal action... for the obstruction and attack of civil servants carrying out their duties," she said.

Since the increase of rental in public markets and hawker complexes, the council has held six dialogue sessions with licensed traders, said Ms Maimunah.

BANNERS

"One suggestion was for the council to beef up enforcement. We placed banners at 10 markets in November to warn illegal traders of enforcement action," she said.

A check by The Star before the press conference found many illegal traders along walkways and near the entrance of the market complex.

Most of the stalls were selling items for the coming Chinese New Year.

When the council vehicles arrived, they quickly packed up and fled. But some later returned to observe the press conference.


This article was first published on February 16, 2015.
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