A less than minute-long mobile footage uploaded on a Facebook page shows a group of foreign tourists getting into an altercation with a local after he asked them to stop peddling at Jonker Street
During the incident, which happened on Friday, 10 May, the group of foreign tourists were allegedly peddling souvenirs such as friendship bands and other handmade items without a licence outside Hard Rock Cafe on the sidewalk opposite hotel premises.
In the video, one of the tourists, believed to be backpackers, is seen arguing with the local after he apparently told her to watch her dressing because it's the fasting month.
The woman also tries to stop the man filming the argument and threatens to throw his mobile into the river if he continued to video them peddling outside the hotel.
The local, who recorded the video, also shared a post
In his post, which was uploaded on the Facebook page called Jonker Street, Melaka, the man wrote: "Met Hard Rock Cafe Team, they said they had complained to MBMB, and expressed that the authorities came several times to chase these foreign peddlers away, but these peddlers return an hour later with no guilt or fear.
"And they are there every day. They have no license or permit! Why not confiscate their items? Why are we allowing them to come back?"
The man also alleged that while he was taking photos of the peddlers, a local man came, claiming to be a Datuk with Pakatan Harapan.
According to the man, the "Datuk" was "shabbily dressed in a t-shirt, shorts and flip flops" who told him not to bother these foreigners.
"If he is a Datuk, he should be doing his job, taking care of the business interest of the locals. Not threatening me instead. Another cheap thrill Datuk. Seems like these foreigners are more bold with no fear of the authorities," he wrote in the post.
While enforcement officers from the Melaka Historic City Council (MBMB) had acted against these foreigners on a few occasions, asking them to leave, they keep returning as business was brisk
Melaka city Mayor Mansor Sudin said that MBMB had issued a directive to the enforcement officers to have all the foreign peddlers removed with immediate effect.
"We understand that these people are supposedly here on a tourist visa, so how can they do business or sell anything here. That is an offence.
"We ordered them to leave prudently and they cooperated. However, if they had not adhered to our warning, then we would have proceeded to issue notice, compound or even confiscate their things," Mansor was quoted as saying by NST Online.
These tourists often referred to as 'begpackers' make money this way after they run out of cash holidaying and could simply take advantage of the local's generosity.
Earlier this year, in a live debate on BBC's World News Today, presenter Philippa Thomas asked SAYS Video Producer Nandini to share her thoughts on the 'begpacking' phenomenon. Watch here: