Towards A Safer, Greener, Cleaner and Close-knit MS Community

Towards A Safer, Greener, Cleaner and Close-knit MS Community

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Doing our bit to stop illegal ads menace

Doing our bit to stop illegal ads menace

THERE are times when one simply has to admire their creativity and persistence. They certainly know a thing or two about copywriting and the importance of strategic location. And they do not give up easily. Apparently, some have even gone from being mere localised entities to go “state-wide” as their “ads” can be seen everywhere in the Klang Valley.

I am talking about the creative souls who take up every available space there is to advertise their services and products, ranging from ‘Pinjaman Mudah’ (easy loans) to private tuition to ‘Ubat Kuat Lelaki (male aphrodisiacs) and what not.

They utilise phone booths and pedestrian bridges to hang their posters, banners and buntings. They also deface public amenities such as lamp-posts, road-signs, fuse boxes with stickers that come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and colours. Even trees are “adorned” with innovative DIY advertisement materials.

The neighbourhood where I live in Jalan Kelang Lama is fast becoming the land of illegal ads!

No more sorry sights: An MBPJ officer tearing down illegal bunting, mostly put up by money lenders, in SS2.

These ubiquitous posters, banners, buntings and stickers are not only an eye sore; they also carry with them some negative effects on both the motorists and the environment.

The menace has aroused increasing discontent among city residents, yet no matter how many times you complain to the authorities to take them down, the illegal ads keep coming back!

Just a month ago, the issue of illegal advertisement cropped up when I met Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Ahmad Fuad Ismail in his office in Jalan Raja Laut.

The mayor expressed his concern about the issue and said DBKL would wage an all out war against those involved in the activity.

Apart from imposing a bigger fine, other solutions being explored by the DBKL include finding a non-stick surface preparation technology to prevent people from sticking bills and posters as well as calling up the number advertised and hauling the owners to court!

Over in Klang, Klang municipal councillor Lim Lip Suan is offering cash incentives to residents who remove all forms of illegal advertising. Residents are paid 30 sen to 50 sen to bring down illegal advertisements in their neighbourhood.

The Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) had, during its full board meeting last month, said it would bar the telephone lines advertised by illegal advertisers.

The MPSJ is working with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission to curb the problem of illegal banners, buntings and stickers offering an assortment of services.

Indeed this phone war on illegal posters has been adopted before. The China Internet Information Centre a few years ago reported that Shanghai Public Sanitation Bureau officials pestered people who illegally pasted flyers on poles or walls with a barrage of phone calls in a bid to curb the activity.

It involved audio software which would automatically call the particular mobile phone number left on the advert every other hour. The frequency for calling would be raised gradually to deter offenders.

The system proved effective with 80% of the offenders choosing to stop their activities by shutting down the mobile. Perhaps the DBKL might consider something similar.

Fuad invited the public to be his eyes and ears and report on these illegal activities, but I think the public can take that invitation further and play a more proactive role, like the persistent residents of Taman Danau Desa, Jalan Klang Lama.

Fed up with the unsightly posters and banners that adorned every nook and cranny of the neighbourhood, the Danau Villa Residents Association decided to clean up their neighbourhood (Star Metro May 23 ‘Cleaning Up Taman Desa).

’Members would make it a point to stop and pull down illegal banners and unsightly materials that they came across as they go about their daily routine. Needless to say, their persistence has proven to be effective.

It is our joint social responsibility and civic duty to keep our neighbourhoods and cities clean and not just expect the local governments to do everything. Everyone must do their part in building a sense of belonging for their neighbourhood and make it their own.

Reporting from MS Community:

Our MS Community is not spared of this illegal ads menace. We must take the necessary needed action to stop this menace once for all eternity. Just see how our street pole look like with these illegal ads.

The trees planted along Jalan Margosa SD 10/1 are also adorned with decorations from money lenders, lorry owners, etc

These illegal ads have really gone too far and too high!

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