Illegal restaurant in Bangsar set to be demolished

IT COULD be the end of the road for Ali Cafe Tomyam Seafood restaurant at Jalan Pantai Baru, Bangsar if Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Nor Hisham Ahmad Dahlan has his way.

The restaurant, built illegally without authorisation from Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), will soon be demolished. It has been operating on a road divider for several years.

Nor Hisham, in response to StarMetro’s front page yesterday, said DBKL will be taking action.

“DBKL is in the process of taking action against the restaurant, just like what we plan to do with the illegal building in Medan Imbi and two other buildings that are in contention in Kuala Lumpur.

“But, in this instance (Ali Cafe), I want to take action ‘as per usual’,’’ he said via a text message.

When asked to elaborate on what he meant by “as per usual”, and whether he would be demolishing the structure, Nor Hisham replied: “Yes.” 

Meanwhile, Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil said DBKL had given the restaurant operator seven days to demolish the restaurant

“The restaurant owner appealed to me to be given time, and we agreed that it would take some time for that (to demolish). But I agree with the mayor’s decision to demolish; he is doing the right thing,” Fahmi said.   

StarMetro reported yesterday that the popular food spot in Bangsar, which has been attracting a steady stream of customers day and night, was illegally built on government land.

This revelation comes on the heels of several similar cases highlighted by Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad about illegal buildings on government-owned spaces.

The cases that have come to light involve buildings put up during the previous government’s administration.

The restaurant, located next to the Pantai fire station, is built on top of a road divider on road reserve. The two-storey structure with facilities such as toilets and a surau, has undergone massive renovations.

The land the restaurant sits on belongs to the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur Land and Mines Office (PTG).

A DBKL enforcement team was given orders to demolish the structure several years ago when the restaurant was carrying out renovations, but the team was instructed at the eleventh hour to stop the operation immediately by a high-ranking official from the previous administration.

DBKL officers were instructed not to disturb the restaurant anymore, and even the DBKL health and environment departments were ordered to issue licences for the place despite it being illegal.

Last month, StarMetro exposed the story of a community hall built on government land in Jalan Kuchai Jaya 1, off Jalan Kuchai Lama, Kuala Lumpur.

The hall was built for the community, but was being rented out to a furniture company.

Kompleks Tun Abdul Ghafar Baba@Seputeh was built on 0.8ha land owned by PTG under dubious circumstances, and was not fully utilised by the community.

Prior to that, another plot of land zoned as open space at Medan Imbi, which now houses a structure which Khalid has referred to as “mystery buildings”, is also under scrutiny.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is investigating the matter.

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