Owners of residential properties and shoplots which had been converted into hostels for foreign workers may be charged under Section 78 of the Local Government Act, reported The Star.
If convicted, they could be imprisoned by up to six months or fined not more than RM2,000 or both. They could also face a fine of not more than RM100 per day should the offence continue even after conviction.
“Johor Baru Municipal Council (MBJB) will take strict action with the help of the police and Immigration Department,” said Johor Baru mayor A. Rahim Nin at a MBJB full board meeting.
He noted that most of such hostels are overcrowded, with many owners allowing up to 30 people. A. Rahim said some house tenants even take their bath on the balcony due to the lack of bathrooms.
The conditions at such places were not hygienic as many residents dispose their rubbish indiscriminately, he added.
Most of these hostels are located near industrial areas like Taman Istimewa, Kampung Ungku Mohsin, Taman Gembira and Taman Sri Pandan.
To accommodate more tenants, many owners made unauthorised renovations to their homes.
He cited the case of a residential home that was demolished last year by MBJB after it was found that the owner made unauthorised renovations to the property.
“The owner of the premises should not think of profits alone and realise the consequences of their action on the surrounding areas,” said A. Rahim.
“The employers of these foreign workers and the agencies that issue their work permits should also ensure they have a place to stay and look after their welfare.”
Diane Foo Eu Lynn, Senior Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, wrote this story. To contact her about this or other stories email email@example.com