It is no secret that there are many laws that are not properly enforced in Malaysia. Therefore, when the authorities put up their effort to right the wrong, some would take it as a violation of their rights when in fact they are at fault the first place. This is what happened in the recent furore between a hawker and Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) officers.
In a viral video posted on Thursday (Feb 28), it showed a number of DBKL trucks arrived at Jalan Genting Klang, Setapak. Tens of city hall officers alighted their vehicles and started to freeze the hawkers’ business at the scene.
The 3-minute video later witnessed a hawker operator donned in red cloth resisted DBKL officers’ instruction. One officer was seen wrapping his arm around the man to calm the latter down but the hawker started to get aggressive and hurled harsh words at the DBKL enforcement team.
“Why could (certain race) run their business down the road but we cannot?” the hawker was heard shouting numerous times in the video.
The post was uploaded by Facebook user Abangkudin Kudin which stated on the social media that he works for a food truck, A.R Ikan Patin Masak Tempoyak, at Jalan Genting. The video was massively circulated, attaining over 13,000 shares and almost a million views at the time of writing.
In the caption, Kudin begged for leniency as he said that young adults like him were merely looking means to make an honest living.
“I am not saying all DBKL officers, just some of them. I know you are only carrying out your duty but please show some compassion towards young adults likes us who are trying to make ends meet.
“We do not annoy anyone. We run a proper business that serves food. Do not just come over to stop us like we are foreigners.
“You brought with you an army, 3-4 trucks and 4-5 vans. Set up roadblocks while the customers were still eating.
“What did we do wrong? We were not committing a malicious crime,” Kudin lamented.
Kudin continued to plead, calling the officers to defend Malay rights on their end. He also said the officers swopped in to confiscate their property and asked for their identification cards, which he expressed the treatment was an overkill.
“We fight because it is our rights. It is our property that we bought with our hard earn salary,” Kudin wrote, adding that the officers should be sympathetic towards young Malays like him who invested savings into a sideline business.
“The patrons (of the hawkers) were all Malays but you want to give us trouble.
“Why you do not stop other races that are doing the same?” Kudin asked.
After the incident, Harian Metro reported that the DBKL enforcement team had lodged a police report against the hawker who obstructed the officers from carrying out their duty.
Also, it was not the first time DBKL officers had taken actions against the hawker. Sinar Harian reported that the hawker was faced with a similar raid back in January for conducting business without a license and obstructing the traffic.
Corporate Planning Department director Norhaslinda Nordin said, “Prior to this, DBKL had taken action against the hawker who committed the same offence after receiving public complaints. On January 31, 2019 through KEJA Operations, the hawker’s property was seized.
“In a follow-up monitoring on 12 February 2019, the hawker still disobeyed the law and was still doing business at the same location. Verbal warning and compound notice were been issued against the hawker.”
Utusan Online reported similarly, citing that the raid was conducted after massive public complaints. Norhaslinda said the raid on the Malay hawkers should not be an issue of race and that it is merely an enforcement that follows the local rule of law.
“We need to take action on traders who run businesses without a license to avoid hygiene problems and so on.
“This is because unregistered traders are difficult to be monitored as there is no health record,” Norhaslinda said.
To add on, Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad reiterated that the hawker DBKL took action against was unlicensed, The Star reported.
Khalid also refuted the claims that DBKL officers deliberately took actions against Malay vendors only.
“The operation targeted unlicensed food traders. For the record, DBKL took action against Chinese hawkers in Setiawangsa earlier.
“There is no tolerance for unlicensed hawkers, regardless of race,” said the minister.
“Our enforcement officers are also human and have feelings, they are only trying to do their job. I hope everyone will calm down.”
You can watch the video of the incident on the next page.