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No more Free and Fair market in Selangor? MB must come clean on granting monopoly right on outdoor advertising to a private company


Media Statement

by Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew


(Petaling Jaya, Friday): In a statement entitled “MBPJ= Majlis Billboard Petaling Jaya?” released on July 6, 2006, we have wanted the Mayor of Petaling Jaya Datuk Termizi Puteh to come clean on the issue of granting monopoly of outdoor advertising to a private company.


The All Petaling Jaya Pro Action Committee (APPAC), which represents over 30 residents associations and NGOs, lodged two police reports in June, stating that the MBPJ’s decision to give Seni Jaya monopoly over 172 billboards in PJ goes against the Local Government Act 1976.


The company had guaranteed revenue of only RM492, 000 over 15 years, which is way too low. It is estimated that in the Klang Valley alone, the outdoor advertising industry is worth at least RM100 million.


This has prompted the publicity secretary of Selangor DAP and DAP PJ Action Team chairman Lau Weng San to lodge a police report on the same grounds.


Even the HRH Sultan of Selangor was concerned about the matter and HRH had issued a public statement through his secretary, asking the Mayor of MBPJ to explain why he has turned Petaling Jaya into a “city of billboards”.


Datuk Termizi has subsequently been removed from his office “unceremoniously” on 15 August 2006, probably due to the public pressure and the intervention of the Selangor Palace.


The Menteri Besar of Selangor Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo has yet to give his reason for the removal of Datuk Termizi as a Mayor.


But he too is now being questioned on why his administration has granted a 15-year monopoly to a private company called Bernam Kiara Sdn Bhd on outdoor advertising in the state.


He was caught “red-handed” by TheSun journalists, the same group of professionals who exposed Termizi. They have published various letters and documents to support their claims in a series of press reports.


Khir Toyo has now decided to pass the buck to two of his former aides, namely Datuk Ramlan Othman (State Secretary) and his then deputy, Datuk Dr Munit Kasmin. But his finger-pointing exercise was not too convincing and he must now come clean and take full responsibility for such a serious debacle.


In fact, the public must be aware that several local municipalities in the state have embarked on granting monopoly rights to private companies on various industries in the state. And Khir Toyo has been keeping mum on all these incidents.


These include monopoly rights such as providing pest control services in Subang Jaya, outdoor advertising in Petaling Jaya, and cutting down on number of scrapped iron licenses and sand supplier licenses in the state.


This has prompted many to question whether Khir Toyo has a hand in all these unethical, unprofessional and lop-sided business dealings and decisions.


Or does it mean that the concept of free and fair market is no more relevant in Selangor under Khir Toyo?


We support Transparency International for its call for a Royal Commission of Inquiry on the matter.


Surely the Prime Minister who spoke so strongly on transparency and accountability could summon the MB of Selangor for some explanations.


Or may be HRH Sultan of Selangor could once again speak up on the matter in safeguarding the interest of the Selangor people.



* Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew, DAP CEC Member and Chief of NGO Bureau

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