Steamboat restaurants at PJS8 in Dataran Mentari place tables and chairs on the street.
THE inconsiderate action of two steamboat restaurants in placing tents with tables and chairs on the road in PJS8 Dataran Mentari, has gone
unnoticed by authorities.
The Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ), it appears, has turned a deaf ear to the numerous complaints from neighbouring businesses.
Every day, in the late afternoon, these restaurants will reserve council parking bays in front and across their premises. They also obstruct the five-foot way of other shoplots.
At night when the crowd swells, the operators put up tents with tables and chairs in between parked cars across the road.
Other than tables and chairs, the restaurant operators also place gas tanks on the road.
Traders from the neighbouring shoplots told StarMetro they did not understand why the situation persisted even though MBPJ’s Enforcement Department had been seen in the area.
“Despite my written and verbal complaints to the council’s Public Complaints Department, it seems no one in MBPJ is enforcing the law and taking action against the blatant abuse of council regulations.
“Last month, council enforcement personnel were seen at around midnight when a restaurant was about to close but no action was taken,” alleged Jackie Yun, a business owner in the area.
Yun said he had “sent email after email over the past few months requesting that stern action be taken”.
“Unfortunately, MBPJ Licensing Department continues to issue the restaurants business licences.
‘‘Our complaints have been in vain as MBPJ’s Enforcement Department is not enforcing the law,” he added.
Because the parking bays have been taken up, other tenants have moved out as their businesses have been affected.
Accountant Majid Mahmud said the al fresco dining in an area like this posed a danger to patrons as motorists drive in and out of the parking bays.
“It is very dangerous as the tables have gas tanks underneath. Over the weekend, the safety risk is worse as the whole stretch of the road is taken up.
“If it rains, the operators will move the tables to the raised pavements at the road corner,” he said.
Majid added that MBPJ’s inaction would lead other steamboat restaurants copying these operators and placing tables and chairs on the road.
“MBPJ should not wait for a fatal accident to occur before taking action,” he added.
In 2003, 19-year-old Nor Suhaila Tajudin was killed and eight others injured when a car driven by a student crashed into them while they dined at a restaurant in Jalan 14/4 in Petaling Jaya.
Majid said the area also had many pubs and entertainment spots, and an accident could easily occur as patrons could be intoxicated and their judgement impaired.
Architect C.K. Chong said the council must shut down the restaurants as food was prepared in unhygienic conditions.
He said meat and vegetables were prepared in the back lanes.
“Diners are not aware of this and could become ill. MBPJ’s Health Department must close the kitchens and issue a compound notice,’’ he added.
Mayor Datin Paduka Alinah Ahmad, on being told about the problem in PJS8 yesterday, said she had ordered the council’s Enforcement and Safety Department director Mohd Fauzi Maarop and Health and Environment Department director Dr Chitra Davi N. Vadivellu to come up with an immediate comprehensive report on the matter.