ALMOST every tree and lamp post in residential areas in Ipoh have been vandalised by loan shark advertisements.
These illegal moneylenders, known as Ah Long, have become bold and have no qualms in damaging facilities when putting up posters and banners advertising their service.
Ah Long posters and banners are pasted on signboards, road signs, lamp posts, noticeboards, public telephone booths, bus stops and trees.
Even electrical feeder pillars belonging to councils, Tenaga Nasional Bhd and Telekom Malaysia’s telecommunication boxes are not spared.
Ipoh Garden, Ampang, Kampung Simee, Kampung Tawas, Taman Seri Desa, Sungai Senam, Pasir Puteh, Bercham and Kampung Rapat have been defaced by them.
Norjihan Abdullah said such advertisements were not only messing up the environment but also painting a negative image of the country to tourists.
“I have seen a team of enforcement officers from the Ipoh City Council tearing down the posters in an operation but the Ah Long will put them up again.”
Motorist Sulaiman Zakaria said the illegal advertisements were a nuisance as they prevented motorists from seeing road signs clearly.
“This always happens to a motorist or visitor who is new to the area.
“They can’t read the signs because of vandalism.
“It is so wrong,” said Sulaiman.
An Ipoh City Council spokesperson said the council’s enforcement team had taken down up to 50,000 loan shark advertisements last year.
“Like the rest of the country, the city is not spared from loan shark activities.
“Through our Licensing and Enforcement Department, we have appointed an Advertisement Unit consisting of 10 people tasked with tearing down illegal and expired advertisements, as well as those that pose a danger to road users,” he said.
He added that under the council’s 2013 Advertisement by-laws, the council could prohibit people from displaying illegal advertisements without a valid licence from the council.
“If banners are put up without a licence, the council can take them down immediately.
“Individuals and companies who put up such illegal banners can be fined up to RM250,” he said.