KUALA LUMPUR, June 23 -- The Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) is sticking by its decision to ban foreign workers and United Nations Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) cardholders from entering or working at the Kuala Lumpur Wholesale Market (PBKL) in Selayang, here.
In a statement today, it reiterated that only legal employees who were registered and working with supply companies were allowed to enter the market, however, they must be accompanied by an employer who is a Malaysian citizen.
According to DBKL, the ban was in line with the enforcement of the Wholesale Markets (Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur) 2002 by-laws that no more foreign workers should be involved in the sector, and that this could revitalise the surroundings of the market and give it a clean new image.
“DBKL also finds that there is no need for foreigners to enter PBKL, as purchasing activities here are carried out wholesale, and not retail. If they want to buy daily necessities, they get it from other markets such as the Selayang Daily Market nearby.
"This is also applicable to UNHCR cardholders, as DBKL finds there is no need for them to enter PBKL as the purchase of groceries can be done in other markets or retail outlets nearby," the statement said.
The market has previously faced numerous closures, and business activities were affected after it had been identified as an area with COVID-19 infections originating from foreigners.
According to the DBKL, the decision was aimed at addressing the public perception that PBKL was still being controlled by foreigners.
It added that action had been taken against 12 UNHCR cardholders who were doing business at the market illegally during the Movement Control Order (MCO) and Recovery MCO.