CITY Hall will approve all illegal budget hotels with a six-month conditional licence, said Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor.
He said the owners would have to make the necessary changes to abide by the requirements for a budget hotel, or they would be forced to close.
“Should the owners face difficulty, they can consult with Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) officers.
“We can recommend architects with reasonable charges to help the budget hotel owners abide by the requirements.
“So, I call out to all budget hotel owners who are operating illegally to apply for a business licence now,” he said after presenting 78 six-month conditional licences to budget hotel owners at DBKL headquarters yesterday.
Also present were Deputy Federal Teritories Minister Datuk Dr Loga Bala Mohan, ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Adnan Md Ikhsan and Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Seri Ahmad Phesal Talib.
Tengku Adnan said DBKL was working closely with the Fire and Rescue Department which had stringent rules on safety requirements for buildings.
He added that this was one of the main reasons budget hotel owners failed to obtain the operating licence.
“Hotels should have more than one staircase. Because of space constraints, many budget hotels do not have a second staircase. Perhaps we could suggest a collapsible ladder at the back of the building which could be used during an emergency.
“We are also looking at offering a three-year business licence with a discount to the budget hotel owners,” he said.
Tengku Adnan added that there were 270 licensed budget hotels in Kuala Lumpur.
He said they had hired Oracle Synergy to conduct a census on business licence and to help the public apply for the licence.
“Oracle Synergy will have roadshows in March to educate business owners on the requirements for a DBKL business licence for free.
“DBKL does not have any runner, so please do not be conned. We have had cases where people claiming to be DBKL runners helped business owners apply for licences only to be given a fake licence,” he said.
He added that if all went well, they would widen their approach to legalise unlicensed restaurants, hawkers and clinics with conditional licence.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Budget Hotel Association president (MyBHA) Leong Pui Kun asked all budget hotel owners to be members of the association to have a stronger voice when making requests to DBKL or other government agencies.
“There are only about 200 members from Kuala Lumpur but I believe about 400 hotel owners have not signed up.
MyBHA (KL Chapter) president Kenneth Oh said it was a positive and proactive approach from DBKL to legalise all the budget hotels.
“Budget hotels play a big role in tourism. We are trying to make sure our premises are as safe and comfortable as possible to attract customers.
“So I hope those with the six-month conditional licence will legalise their operation and restore public confidence,” he said.