KEPONG Baru residents are urging Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to takeover the management of a community hall along Jalan Kepong Baru, Kuala Lumpur, to avoid it being misused.
They claim a resident with a “Datuk” title was managing the hall and renting it out to the public at a steep price.
An illegal car wash was also spotted in front of the hall.
Federal Territories Residents Representative Council (MPPWP) Kepong Zone 4 secretary David Ling received complaints regarding the rental of the hall.
“When we asked about a rental for a wedding banquet, we were quoted RM800 to rent the hall from 6pm to 11pm.
“Two Myanmar nationals who had the keys to the hall told me that RM300 was for the hall rental and the rest would be given to a manager.
“It should not be so expensive, and we suspect there is abuse of rental fees,” he said during a press conference.
Ling added that the community hall was supposed to be used for public activities such as talks, seminars and rehearsals.
“Instead, the workers manning the car wash are living inside the hall and there are clothes hanging at the back of the building,” he said, adding that this was going on for the past 20 years.
At the hall, bunting promoting taekwondo and karate classes are visible.
The car park in front of the hall is blocked with plastic strips to prevent cars from entering the area.
A man named Gulam, claiming to be the manager of the hall, said the hall was rented out for free for taekwondo classes while money earned from the car wash was used to maintain the hall and pay the workers’ allowance.
“My staff are living inside the hall to take care of the building,” he said, adding that the residents appointed him as the caretaker.
Also present were MPPWP Kepong Zone 4 president Tan Chee Kett and deputy president Jully Yap.
Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng’s special assistant Dic Lai advised the residents to lodge complaints with Lim’s office or DBKL about the abuse of public halls and encroachment on public land.
“I hope DBKL can take back the management of the hall and once that happens, we will clean it up and upgrade the landscaping there,” Lai said.