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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

DBKL launches investigation over corruption claims involving mandarin oranges

NewsDBKL launches investigation over corruption claims involving mandarin oranges

Chinese New Year is right around the corner, and traders are capturing this once-a-year opportunity to sell some mandarin oranges. However, it appears that this also gave rise to an opportunity for corruption as officers, too, took this opportunity to solicit bribes from these traders.

According to The Star, the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has since launched an internal investigation into such corruption allegations that involved several of its enforcement personnel who are soliciting bribes from traders selling mandarin oranges in the city.

This came after claims of some officers were bullying traders in Kuchai Entrepreneurs Park in Kuchai Lama who violated licensing guidelines.

According to an audio recording that has been going rounds online, a KL resident by the name of Imraz Ikhbal claimed that DBKL enforcement officers were demanding bribes from traders who had breached licensing regulations.

“I went to buy mandarin oranges at the site. Shockingly, the oranges were sold at an exorbitant price of RM52 for only 20 oranges.”

“When I asked about the pricing, the trader confessed that he had to hike up the price because he had to pay off RM1,000 to DBKL officers so that they would not disturb his business.”

“I was angry and felt that I had to do something to highlight this. I lodged a complaint with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and even met the mayor,” he said.

Checks found violation in licensing requirement

Meanwhile, Seputeh MP Teresa Kok was also alerted of this incident and has since send her team to check on the matter.

However, they found that those involved were traders who violated the licensing requirements.

“My people spoke to the person affected… he was given a license to operate only one stall but was running two. So he was paying off DBKL to let him continue operating both stalls.”

“We told him we would help him get the required license, but he must follow the law. However, he refused our help and said he could not do business that way. This unethical culture goes both ways and must stop,” she was quoted as saying.

Licensing breaches were ‘normal occurrence’

When interviewed, traders in the area said the licensing breaches and payoffs were ‘a very normal occurrence’.

“It happens a lot with those who flout the law. They are the ones willing to pay off the officers… this should not be happening,” one trader said.

“This culture should stop now. The culprits who are giving and taking bribes must be punished,” another trader said.

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