Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP) has warned against the practice of selling or leasing business licences to third parties, especially in border towns.
According to Bernama, KPDNHEP secretary-general (sec-gen) Azman Mohd Yusof said the ministry will not hesitate to revoke the retail business licences of individuals who were found to have committed to such practices.
He explained that such irresponsible acts of selling or renting their business licences to foreigners will not only harmful to the country but also deprived others of a living just for the sake of easy profit.
Azman then said his team takes this matter seriously as it was raised by local traders in border towns in Kelantan, Kedah and Perlis following an influx of foreign traders after the recent reopening of the Malaysia-Thailand border.
“For local traders who sell or rent their business licences to foreigners, the revocation of their operating licences can be implemented by local authorities,” he said.
Azman said the government only allowed foreigners holding category one and category two employment passes to open businesses in the country.
The category one employment pass referred to those earning a salary of RM10,000 and above, while category two was for a salary of RM5,000 and above.
“The guidelines for foreign participation in the trade and distribution sector in Malaysia have also listed down that foreigners are not allowed to open grocery stores, stalls, and other small businesses that fall under the negative list.”
“If there are foreigners opening unauthorised businesses, the government has the right to revoke their business licences and KPDHEP has the power to act in such a way if it finds that the owner of the premises is a foreigner,” he said.
As to curb the issue, Azman said the ministry will cooperate with the Ministry of Housing and Local Government as they are the ministry that regulates local authorities in issuing business licences.
“With this cooperation, it is hoped that no foreign traders are allowed to open small retail businesses in their areas,” he said.
He added that KPDNHEP will also work with the Immigration Department to assist the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) in screening business applications by foreigners.
“The screening is done to ensure that foreigners are only in permitted business fields in the country,” he also said.
Meanwhile, he said that the ministry always welcomes the public to lodge complaints on foreigners in retail businesses in their areas. These complaints will then be channeled to the respective KPDNHEP state offices for further action.