Hard Rock Hotel and Hard Rock Cafe Penang facade.
PUTRAJAYA: Putrajaya Corporation (PPj) has decided that there will not be a Hard Rock Café in Putrajaya.
“PPj has not received any application by Hard Rock International to establish Hard Rock Café in the federal administrative capital,” said PPj president Tan Sri Aseh Che Mat, who reiterated that the café will not be opened at a press conference here yesterday.
He acknowledged receiving a visit by businessman Tan Sri Syed Yusof Syed Nasir, who expressed interest in real estate investment in Putrajaya, particularly in the hotel sector, and the possibility of opening the entertainment outlet.
“But no application has been made. Therefore, the question of deciding does not arise at all,” said Aseh.
He also posted the following statement on his Facebook profile: “After listening carefully to the complaints and concerns highlighted by all parties, I would like to stress that PPj remains firm on its principles and strict rules to not allow the sale of alcohol and inappropriate entertainment, in line with the image of Putrajaya as the federal government’s administrative centre.
“I’m sorry if this issue has caused dissatisfaction and anxiety among Malaysians.”
The proposal on the opening of Hard Rock Café in Putrajaya, which would have been the fifth in Malaysia, had sparked protests from certain communities, particularly residents of Putrajaya.
Shortly after the news on the opening of Hard Rock Café had been published on the Internet, a Facebook page called Rakyat Malaysia Menen-tang Hard Rock Café dan Kelab Malam di Putrajaya (Malaysians Against Hard Rock Café and Nightclub in Putrajaya) garnered more than 7,000 “likes” by midnight Sunday.
Entertainment and hospitality mogul Syed Yusof has various business concerns and is well known for his interests in the Hard Rock Café as well as the Concorde Hotel chains.
Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had hinted that Putrajaya could do with more business and perhaps even entertainment outlets “to give life” to the place.
He said that although Putrajaya was carefully conceived, some aspects that would jazz up the place were missing.
“I admit being guilty of setting up Putrajaya as the administrative capital. It is very well planned. But it is dull.
“More offices are being built but no shops, no restaurants or coffee houses and certainly no places of entertainment of any kind,” he said in his blog posting titled “Putrajaya” in September 2008.
In a statement, franchise owner Hard Rock International (HRI) clarified it has “no intention to open any new outlets in Malaysia nor issued any statements to that effect, apart from those already announced”.
“HRI has strict operating procedures to identify and survey a market prior to opening any new outlets, taking into account local culture and market demands,” it said, adding that any announcement of any new outlets will come from HRI directly, and not from any third parties.