Foreigners Still Selling Vegetables, Chicken in PJ Old Town

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Foreigners are barred from working in wet markets in the country, but this has not stopped some of them from continuing to do business.

A Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) councillor expressed concern over the high number of foreigners at Pasar Besar Jalan Othman who were now trading illegally in the Old Town area.

PJ Old Town Market – Art Chen/ The Star.

Councillor Ermeemarianna Saadon said although their numbers had reduced following the movement control order (MCO), many were still doing business illegally.

She spoke at length about the matter during the MBPJ full board meeting yesterday which was streamed on the city council’s official website.

“Foreigners are not supposed to be operating in these sectors, but they are still doing it.

Najjua Zulkefli/TMI

“We have received complaints that they bring slaughtered chicken into the Old Town housing area and sell them to individuals and local businesses. Some are selling around 200 chickens a day.

“They are also selling vegetables from their houses,” said Ermeemarianna, who is the councillor responsible for the Old Town area.

Some have married Malaysians and invited relatives from their country to become involved in the business too, she pointed out.

“Others who are here on visitors’ passes are doing business illegally and have overstayed,” she added.

Ermeemarianna said some employers preferred foreigners over Malaysians as the former were willing to work longer hours.

“Rules must be followed and there must be ethical practices. I know some traders are seeking to employ local workers at the market, which is a good move.

“All activities involving foreign labour in sectors that they are not allowed to work should be monitored by the authorities. Please go down to the ground and carry out enforcement,” she said.

In response, Petaling Jaya mayor Datuk Mohd Sayuthi Bakar urged the public to lodge complaints with MBPJ for enforcement to be done effectively.

“Immigration Department is in charge of handling matters related to foreign workers.

“However, based on regulations, foreigners are not supposed to be managing businesses in the specified sectors.

Abd Rahim Rahmat/NST

“They can be hired legally in sectors such as cleaning and plantations but not as shop assistants,” he said. – The Star