Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wipe out illegal advertising and "poster politicians"

It's about time that serious action is taken on illegal advertising. They are an annoying eyesore that seriously make Malaysian urban centres, not just KL, look like slums.

I have always wondered why the local council enforcement people don't just look up the contact numbers and, once the facts are clear, just whack them with a hefty fine for creating the mess.

So, this is timely news:

KUALA Lumpur mayor Datuk Ahmad Fuad Ismail feels that enough is enough and has decided to launch a war against the widespread illegal advertisement nuisance in the federal capital.

Fuad said he would go all out to catch the perpetrators of the abuse by calling up the contact numbers on the illegal advertisements and then book them for vandalism.

He said that the only way to stop the mushrooming of illegal advertisement posters, banners and buntings put up by the ah longs (loan sharks), tuition centres and those offering various services, was to go after the persons sponsoring them.

“Removing the adverts and stickers is no longer a viable solution as the perpetrators keep coming back. Drastic action must be taken to teach the culprits a lesson,” Fuad said.

He said that the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) enforcement team would be instructed to call up the number directly and find out where they were operating from.

Not right: An advert stuck on a phone booth along Bukit Bintang in Kuala Lumpur.

“I am declaring war on these people as they are giving the city a bad name. They are placing stickers, posters and buntings on road signs, street lights, poles and even on the trees. It is an eyesore,” Fuad said.

Read the rest of the report here.

I am also very amused by the curling and piercing remarks in Zainul Ariffin's op-ed column where he iconoclastically knocks the trend of politicians putting billboards of themselves photographed with the Prime Minister. Writes Zainul:

How did this sudden billboard mania come about, I cannot really put my finger on, but I am certain of their effect on me -- I dislike them for their vacuity, if not much more than the shallowness that they presume the public has that they can be easily impressed and affected by such displays.

In the business of public one-upmanship, many politicians have been putting up such displays with themselves pictured alongside the prime minister, albeit in smaller size. As if perception could be massaged visually, the displays are meant to imply that they, standing in the shadow of the prime minister, are powerful, too.

Some are trying to ride on the popularity, prestige and power of the prime minister. Their message seems to be: "Look at me. I am the prime minister's man (or woman). You better believe that I am powerful!"

Now that Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is no longer prime minister, there must be thousands of such billboards and posters of him and politicians that need removing if only to make sure that our public displays are kept abreast with our political developments.

This is additional work that the local councils need not have to be saddled with.

This practice in the past few years caused someone to remark to me that it was akin to "governing via billboards". These politicians hope that their larger-than-life-in-living-colour mugs could make us give them more love.

Incidentally, this love affair with giant billboards is not exclusive to politicians of the ruling party; opposition politicians, though on a lesser scale, are not immune either.

Be they cabinet members or menteris besar, they should not be putting up pictures of themselves with the prime minister on billboards or posters, or in newspaper advertisements. It is just not right, in my opinion.

I am quite certain that many, if not most, Malaysians share Zainul's view on these "poster politicians".


Antares said...

The more laws, the less justice exists! I personally subscribe to the laissez-faire school of management theory :-)

de minimis said...

Bro Antares

Nice of you to take some time out to drop a note. As many would agree, laissez-faire does not extend to public nuisance which indiscriminate plastering of Ah Long bills certainly are. Justice must favour us long-suffering members of the public who have to put up with the eyesore of roads signs being obscured by these bills.

flyer168 said...

De minimis,

What can we expect from our Bolehland's Haprak "Jaguh Kampong"...

With their 3rd World Mentality "Wannabe Politicians"....

BANKRUPT of any Intelligent Honourable Political, Financial, Social & Transparent Solutions for this nation & rayaat.

Still with their Law of the Jungle & Gutter Politics Jaguh Kampong ala KINDERGARTEN style & still playing with Marbles"....

When all the other nation's Presidents, PMs & Cabinet Ministers are playing "Chess at International Level."

de minimis said...


I like your healthy dose of cynicism. Keep it coming :D

flyer168 said...

De minimis,

Thank you for your warm words Bro.

Mentioned to Syed Akhbar Ali recently that we should all meet for a drink when you are available.

Cheers & keep up this great Blogsite ALIVE & VIBRANT!

de minimis said...


Sorry I missed out on the last one. I shall be grateful if you can email me at so that we can arrange with Syed for the next round of drinks. I regretted the schedular clash when Syed contacted me last week. I do look forward to meeting with a kindred spirit.