No room for illegal operators

  • Community
  • Thursday, 21 Jan 2016

A PENANG Island City Council (MBPP) demolition team tore down an unlicensed budget hotel with a ‘capsule’ concept in Jalan Tanjung Tokong.

They removed partitions at the 32-bed bungalow-turned-capsule hotel which the operator had spent nearly RM400,000 on the business.

It is learnt that he had been operating under an expired licence for food premises for almost a year before the demolition yesterday.

The raid carried out by 15 MBPP workers at 9.30am yesterday was the second in three months.

The first operation on Nov 13 last year saw the owner being issued a notice to stop his business or apply for a temporary permit.

Besides taking down the partitions, the MBPP workers also seized mattresses and tables from the premises in the presence of six policemen.

Enforcement officer Zaidah Abu Aziz said the council had never received any application from the operator.

“He ignored our notice in November last year and continued to operate.

“He might have engaged a consultant to legalise the business but we have no record of him doing so.

“The business is illegal,” she said when met at the scene.

Zaidah said they had raided 11 out of 43 illegal hotels in George Town.

It was reported that under the Town and Country Planning Act 1966, operators of illegal hotels can be brought to court and charged with a fine which carries a maximum RM500,000 fine or two years jail, or both upon conviction.

Meanwhile, building owner Chan Kuan Weng, 42, said he had made efforts to register his hotel business through a middle man.

He claimed he had paid a runner to legalise his hotel operation since 2015.

“The council raided my place upon rumours that I was running a dating joint.

“I got compounded for this.

“I have paid RM7,000 to the runner but until today, I have no idea what has happened to the money.

“The man claimed he could help me with all the necessary documents,” he said, adding that he had invested around RM400,000 to run the business.

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