Bravo, Imraz Ikhbal for foiling DBKL officers who bully mandarin orange traders for money

Letter to Editor

IMRAZ Ikhbal, the well-articulated ‘mysterious’ voice who always speak up against oppression recently complained about some Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s (DBKL) enforcement officers going on the round to look for opportunities to bully traders selling Mandarin oranges.

They would first find fault with these traders, but after a few visits, they would gradually ask and even demand bribes. We are all very familiar with such a storyline, but what Imraz has done is worth emulating.

Imraz Ikhbal

Instead of keeping quiet about it, Imraz shared his complaint using an audio recording, urging action to be taken against the DBKL enforcement officers who are collecting bribes from those who are willing to pay.

As a result of his voice messages, even DBKL senior officers have gone down the ground to record statements from the traders. We hope some form of disciplinary action will be taken against the enforcement officers as they are getting bolder by the day.

As Imraz puts it, “Most importantly, the traders must be allowed to carry on with their businesses without being bullied by enforcement officers who are seeking for bribes. “Bravo, Saudara Imraz!”

Here is a case where clearly a Malay gentleman is willing to stand up for a Chinese trader whom he does not know. This is the Malaysian spirit that is very much alive today. More, especially the Chinese, should emulate Imraz’s example. After all, Lady Justice is colorblind.

Like me, Imraz, too, cannot stand to see corruption, or worse, when oppression of a small-time trader is happening before his eyes.

Investigation underway

According to Imraz, each time the amount is RM500 or even RM1,000. At the end of the day, it is the customers who are paying the price of corruption.

Whether this case is true or not, it is the job of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to investigate, and if they cannot prosecute the officers, MACC should set up undercover teams to catch these bribe seekers red handed. Enough with the excuses about MACC not having enough officers to do their job.

Imraz even took the trouble to complain to the MACC, and one officer, Ms Yogeswary, immediately contacted the trader to gather more information. Bravo!

Because of Imraz’s complaint, Teresa Kok who is the Seputeh MP also sent one of her assistants to immediately check out the complaint. She has agreed to help the traders in her constituency with the necessary compliances.

A delighted Imraz immediately wrote to me:

Imraz is right. DBKL should not delay the issuance of the licenses for these traders who are trying to sell their stock of Mandarin oranges before the Chinese New Year which falls on Jan 22-23.

A big problem nationwide

It is not because the amount is small but because such corrupt practises by City Hall or local council enforcement officers are rampant and oppress owners of small businesses.

Whether it is the Pakatan Harapan (PH) or Barisan Nasional (BN) or a unity government, we cannot and should no longer tolerate such abuses of power on the ground. We have to rise up to fight against corrupt enforcement officers.

To be honest, where bribes are concerned, there are no willing givers, but businesspeople are just forced to give in order for them to operate their businesses peacefully.

PAS President Tan Sri Hadi Awang is absolutely wrong in saying that bribery is not covered under Hudud law. In one of the Q&A (question and answer) sessions, Hadi claimed that since bribery involves a willing giver and a willing taker, it is not theft.

However, Imraz being a devout Muslim has a different opinion. Click on these audio files to listen: Opinion 1 and Opinion 2.

MACC better step up its team to fight corruption at the core or face the wrath of the people if it keeps setting aside files as NFA (No Further Action). – Jan 1, 2023


Stephen Ng
Kuala Lumpur

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.

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