KUALA Lumpur’s nightclub, pub and restaurant operators, who have had no business since the first movement control order, are seeking a deferment of licence fees and taxes from Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and Federal Territories Ministry.They said such aid could help ease their financial burden and help save thousands of businesses that were in dire straits and facing permanent closure.
Restaurant and Bistro Owners Association media advisor Jeremy Lim said it had been almost 16 months and people from all income groups were suffering financially.
He made the plea after Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa said in RTM’s Bicara Naratif programme on Sunday that he had approved the offer of assessment rebates to ratepayers in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan to help ease the people’s burden.
Annuar had said that assessment payments could be made in instalments while defaulters would not be penalised.
He had also expressed confidence that the economy would recover soon and people would be able to earn a living with job opportunities.
The ministry had also launched seven initiatives under Wilayah Cakna 5.0 to reduce the burden of Malaysians in the three Federal Territories affected by the lockdown, especially the B40 group.
Lim called for the ministry to also defer assessment for property owners and various licence fees for business owners as everyone was impacted in one way or another, be it mentally, physically, emotionally or financially.
“Please defer the assessment for property owners as well as various licence fees for business owners.
“We need cash flow to keep our business afloat and our people, your constituents, employed,’’ he added.
“If you are talking about reducing rates (assessment), then make it clear and provide details.
“Or at least have a platform where everyone can provide feedback so that the ministry can have a sense of the public’s sentiments,’’ he said.
He added that while assessment helped landlords, the deferment of licence fees was critical to many businesses.
Sharing Lim’s sentiment is TREC Holdings Sdn Bhd general manager Kelvin Lam, who said that he would welcome any help from the government to save the industry.
“Assessment rebates will definitely ease part of our burden.
“We are looking forward to working with the government for the recovery plan and we need all the support we can get,” he said.
TREC Holdings is the landlord for entertainment hub TREC KL in Jalan Tun Razak.
Hundreds of restaurants and entertainment outlets in Kuala Lumpur have suffered losses amounting to millions of ringgit during the MCO and lockdown.
Many still continue to pay for their liquor and premises licences as well as excise fees despite suffering from lack of revenue.