Saturday August 4, 2012
Minister: Only pre-approved candidates in ballot for bazaar lots
By BAVANI M
email@example.com Photo by SHAARI CHE MAT
FUTURE applicants for Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL)’s Ramadan bazaar lots will have to be “pre-approved” for the balloting, to ensure better transparency and that only deserving individuals get the chance to conduct business.
Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin said currently, everyone could participate in the balloting process and not all were deserving.
He added that to stop traders from sub-letting their lots to the highest bidder, suggestions had been made for Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to charge those caught doing so.
The Minister said DBKL had also been instructed to carry out a postmortem into allegations of a syndicate raking in millions of ringgit selling Ramadan bazaar lots in Jalan Masjid India, Lorong Fatimah, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and Wakaf Orang Tua Buta.
“We will look into this as well as fine-tune the system of allocating lots,’’ Nong Chik said during a walkabout at the Ramadan bazaar in Jalan Masjid India on Thursday.
“Despite a stringent balloting system that requires successful traders taking oaths and signing an integrity pact, sub-letting of lots is prevalent because it is very hard to prove,’’ he said.
He warned that those caught sub-letting their lots would be blacklisted from participating in future balloting, would have their lots confiscated and lose their deposit.
On Wednesday, MACC arrested an individual believed to be the middleman facilitating sales of sought-after Ramadan bazaar lots in Masjid India.
The runner was under surveillance for several days before being arrested during the Ops Bazaar Ramadan.
A MACC spokesman said the male suspect would be taken to the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya to facilitate investigations.
MACC officers visited 15 stalls during the operation conducted by 24 officers, to weed out traders who had paid exorbitant prices to purchase lots at the coveted Jalan Masjid India and Lorong Fatimah.
During the raid, MACC found some stall operators had paid RM6,000 to RM28,000 per “VIP” lot simply for its strategic location.
A DBKL corporate communication department officer said there were over 400 lots in Masjid India and that each was rented out for RM300 to RM400. The fee included licence, service charge and miscellaneous charges.