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Saturday, 13 January 2018 | MYT 12:00 AM

War on illegal ads goes on

PENANG Island City Council (MBPP) took down 5,893 illegal advertisements last year, of which more than half were believed to be put up by loan sharks.

Councillor Ong Ah Teong said besides the 3,216 advertisements offering loan services, other illegal promotional materials were those of tuition classes and product advertisements.

He said the advertisements were in various forms such as stickers, banners or bunting, which gradually increased in number as the year-end approached.

“This may be due to school reopening, New Year or the festive season.

“We have a team of about five to six people who go around to look out for these advertisements.

“These advertisements used to be put up along main roads, at bus stops, trees, and lampposts.

(Left and top) Enforcement officers removing illegal advertisements in the form of stickers, banners or bunting.
Enforcement officers removing illegal advertisements in the form of stickers, banners or bunting.

“But now, such advertisements can be seen even at residential areas.

“We have reported to the Malaysian Communications And Multimedia Commission (MCMC) by giving them 69 phone numbers printed on the advertisements believed to be put up by loan sharks.

“We will send a message to the phone numbers. If there is no reply within three days, then we will pass the phone number to MCMC to cut off the line,” he said in a press conference after the full council meeting at Penang City Hall on Thursday.

He said the council hoped to get more police assistance to tackle the problem.

“We can only act by taking down the illegal advertisements under the MBPP by-law and then report them to the MCMC for further action.

“But the police can investigate and make arrests.

“The police can act against loan sharks under Section 5(2) of the Moneylenders Act 1951,” he said.

Meanwhile, MBPP mayor Datuk Maimunah Mohd Sharif said no changes would be made to the standing committees which will be in effect until June 30.