Mohd Zakuan Zakaria, Secretary of Ipoh City Council, in a press statement at Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital on Monday, August 10, denied a social media posting claiming Council enforcement officers had immobilised a kacang puteh vendor’s business by scattering her kacang puteh (nuts) and other edibles onto the road. The purported incident took place within the hospital compound on Friday, August 7.
The posting, which went viral in the social media, showed Council enforcement officers standing by while a woman was holding on to a black bag filled with nuts and nuts strewn about on the ground.
According to Zakuan, the officers were not responsible for the act. In fact, the officers had done nothing untoward other than stopping the woman from conducting her business in the hospital compound. The vendor, said the Council Secretary, was the one who threw the nuts on to the ground, as a form of protest.
According to Dato’ Haji Omar bin Ahmad, a member of the hospital’s visitors’ board, the Council officers were there to conduct enforcement actions against unlicensed vendors following complaints from the hospital. The presence of these illegal traders had marred the image of the facility to a great extent and had become a nuisance to patients, staff and visitors.
Zakuan had sought the blessing of the mayor, Dato’ Zamri Man, to provide the aggrieved party, Janaki Subramaniam, a single mother, a license to hawk kacang puteh forthwith.
A racially-sensitive issue was thus resolved with prompt actions by Ipoh City Council.