Legitimate chance for budget hotels

There are over 500 budget hotels in Kuala Lumpur including several in Brickfields, which is a tourist destination. — Filepic

UNLICENSED budget hotels will be offered help in obtaining a valid operating licence before Visit Malaysia Year 2020.

Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Association of Malaysia president Michael Kang said that following discussions with relevant government agencies, it was decided that Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) would issue operating licences to budget hotels that were currently illegal, provided that safety standards were met.

“When DBKL froze the issuance of licences in 2016, budget hotel operators faced a lot of problems. They used to receive countless summonses from the authority.

“Currently, there are more than 500 budget hotels in the city and 200 are operating without a licence.

“The Malaysia Hotel Budget Association (MyBHA) will assist operators to obtain the licence,” said Kang.

MyBHA president Leong Pui Kun urged unlicensed budget hotels to come forward so that the association could compile a list to be submitted to DBKL.

“Registering and legalising these budget hotels is important since next year is Visit Malaysia Year 2020 and we want to support the Government to ensure the campaign is a success.

“We do not want tourists to stay in unlicensed hotels.

(From left) Oh, Leong and Kang are urging unlicensed budget hotel operators to come forward.
(From left) Oh, Leong and Kang are urging unlicensed budget hotel operators to come forward.

“We are also requesting for the licence to be valid for three years,” said Leong during a press conference in Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur.

He said many operators could not get a licence previously because they did not meet safety standards.

“We are appealing to the Fire and Rescue Department to give us leeway in fulfilling existing safety guidelines.

“We can also compile a list of problems faced by budget hotels and work together to address them.

“We hope the government can recognise these budget hotels as they contribute to tourism,” he added.

MyBHA Kuala Lumpur chapter chairman Kenneth Oh said once DBKL received the list of unlicensed budget hotels, the Fire and Rescue Department would check those premises.

Oh said this was a chance for budget hotel operators to upgrade their standards and services.

“Kuala Lumpur is the main hub as tourists would come to the city first before going to other states.

“We want to show that Malaysia is not an expensive country to visit and that budget accommodation is widely available,” he said.

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