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Scraping Away Illegal Ads - The Star

Bunting Banner Billboard Printing Installation License Permit

No problem: MBSA officers using the i-Galah tool which was designed by them to remove illegal advertisements that are out of reach.


WAGING a full-scale war against illegal advertising, the Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) has made it the first task each day to take down unwanted posters.

Armed with their very own kit, the i-Galah – a tool pouch complete with scrapers, a hammer and other necessities, some 20 officers scour Shah Alam three times a day.

The officers begin their morning, afternoon and night shifts, with a two to three-hour operation in five zones all over the city including Sungai Buloh and Kota Kemuning.

Enforcement officer Zakaria Mat Piah said on average daily, his team collected about 1,000 posters from the entire city.

“Despite our efforts every day, the posters reappear overnight, making it difficult to resolve the problem permanently,” he said.
The culprits, he said, would find new methods to put up the
advertisements while some resort to placing them more than six metres from the ground on lamp posts.

Their tactics forced the enforcement team to come up with the i-Galah, an invention they submitted last year for the innovation contest each department is required to join.

Last year alone the council collected 197,803 illegal banners but this year the numbers have increased to 167,930 banners collected as at July.

Among the most common services advertised are lorry rental, tuition centres, auctions, traditional medicines and telephone numbers of unlicensed moneylenders.

“The moneylenders’ banners are usually hung in middle and lower-income neighbourhoods where people may be strapped for cash. High-end residential areas on the other hand have more property advertisements,” he added.

The telephone numbers collected from the banners are submitted to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to ban the numbers.

However, Zakaria said the ban would usually be effective for only a month before the numbers were sold again in the market, making it easy for the culprits to reuse them.

Once a month, MBSA’s enforcement team also conducts a joint operation with the commercial crime department and have even managed to apprehend two suspects this month who were caught red-handed for putting up the banners.

The suspects were summoned under the MBSA Advertising bylaws 2007 for illegal advertisement and vandalism.

MBSA deputy corporate communications director Shahrin Ahmad urged businesses to apply for the temporary licence to put up bunting, banners and posters.

“The illegal banners are an eyesore and more often than not, destroy the surroundings and amenities such as trees, walls and utility boxes,” he added.

Those wanting to apply for temporary licence can do so at the licensing department at Wisma MBSA or call 03-5510 5133 ext 408, 384, 485 or 384.


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