Friday, June 13, 2008

Stick to ruling or face closure - The Star

Jun 13, 2008

THE Perak government has warned cybercafé operators in the state not to flout the law or face being shut down immediately.

State Education, Local Government, Housing and Public Transport Committee chairman Nga Kor Ming said the state government was keeping a “watchful eye” on all cybercafes.

“We are giving them an opportunity to buck up and follow the law or we will not hesitate to shut them down.

“Each operator is given a copy of the local government by-laws upon getting the licence to operate their business. Yet, many have been openly flouting the law,” he said.

Nga said that among the guidelines in the bylaws were that cybercafes were not allowed to operate past midnight, engage foreign labour or allow video games, gambling, pipe music or the sale of publications with negative elements at their premises.

Operators should also ensure that patrons below 18 years were accompanied by an adult and they must leave the cybercafé on or before 10pm, he said.

“The café operators are also not allowed to sell cigarettes or liquor or use dark screens at their premises,” said Nga, adding that there were 241 cybercafes in the state, 141 of which, were in Ipoh.

Nga said he would meet the Perak Cyber Café Association next week to discuss the matter.

On a separate matter, Nga said that the state had set up an independent panel comprising professionals to look into matters concerning local government.

“This panel is completely independent of the state government and will advise local councillors on policy matters as well as how to improve the local government’s service to the people,” he said, adding that the names of the panel members would be announced next week.

Nga said the panel was tasked with vetting through the 2,600 applications from the public for the posts of local councillors.

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