Donald Lim and the Pasar Besar Jalan Othman Hawkers’ Association must explain what has happened to money collected from hawkers in 2002

Press Statement
by John Chung

(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday): Last week, I received complaints from numerous hawkers operating at the upper level of the Pasar Besar Jalan Othman, Petaling Jaya regarding serious irregularities in payments made to the market’s hawkers’ association. 

According to the hawkers, in early 2002, they were informed by representatives of the market’s hawkers’ association that Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) required them to pay an additional RM100 “deposit” each for usage of electricity, although they had already paid a RM50 deposit to TNB. 

They were then issued with receipts simply stating that the payment was for “TNB” and curiously bearing the rubber stamp of the MP for PJ Selatan Datuk Donald Lim when it should have been that of the hawkers’ association as it was the party that was acting on the hawkers’ behalf. 

For the last two years ever since the payments were made, the hawkers concerned had been wondering whether TNB receive the money as the RM100 was never reflected on the TNB bills sent to them. 

Hawkers operating at the ground floor of the market, numbering about 270, were also told to pay a deposit of RM113 to TNB if they wanted utility meters to be individually installed in their stalls. But unlike hawkers on the upper level, the payments collected from them were remitted to TNB as reflected on their electricity bills. 

After checking with TNB last Friday, I was informed by the customer service department that the deposit of RM50 was sufficient and there was no requirement to pay additional deposit of RM100 unless the usage of electricity is exceptionally high. The TNB computed database also showed no record of RM100 having ever been credited into the account of the hawkers concerned when a few examples were highlighted. 

There are several pertinent issues that must be addressed: 

  1. Considering that there was no requirement by TNB for the hawkers to remit another RM100 as “deposit” as the hawkers had already paid the deposit of RM50, it would follow that the hawkers’ association had no right to collect the RM100 and claimed that it was payment for deposit. Such action by the association is tantamount to misleading the hawkers.
  1. The failure of the hawkers’ association to forward the money collected from the hawkers to TNB is a breach of trust as the money was paid by the hawkers to the association with the understanding that it would be remitted to TNB.
  1. As the RM100 was collected by the hawker’s association, why did the receipts issued to the hawkers bear the rubber stamp of Donald Lim instead of the rubber stamp of the hawkers’ association?
  1. What has happen to the more than RM20,000 collected two years ago? Is it still in the possession of the hawkers’ association or in the hands of Donald Lim or could it have been used for a wrongful purpose?

As this matter involves allegations of possible breach of trust, the hawkers’ association and Donald Lim must provide a satisfactory explanation to the hawkers, particularly as the more than RM20,000 collected are the hawkers’ hard-earned money.



* John Chung, Selangor DAP Organising Secretary/DAP Bukit Gasing Branch Chairman