THE Penang government will help employees who recently lost their jobs due to the closure of a hotel, said state tourism and creative economy committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin.
He said his office would help Hotel Royal Penang employees get employment opportunities through the Penang Care Alliance initiative.
Yeoh, who is the initiative’s vice-chairman, visited the hotel after hearing news that it was about to close down.
He was also there to get a headcount of the staff who were affected.
“Other industrial sectors have been allowed to gradually reopen but the tourism industry is still suffering from direct impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, incurring huge economic losses.
“The tourism industry is still waiting for the National Security Council to give us the ‘green light’ to begin operations once again.
“I was informed that Hotel Royal Penang would be suspending business temporarily.
“My office has initiated several assistance programmes.
“After obtaining the list of the affected hotel staff members, they will be docked under the state government’s Penang Care Alliance initiative.
“We hope to help these affected staff get new jobs within a short period of time and help reduce the negative impact on their livelihood and finance,” he said.
Meanwhile, Hotel Royal Penang general manager Amran Taib said all 91 staff would be given fair and full compensation based on the collective agreement.
“We will continue to assist our employees and alert them if there is any vacancy in other locations,” he said in a phone interview.
The hotel in Jalan Larut, George Town, will close on Nov 14 for a restructuring exercise.
Amran said due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the hotel will close for restructuring.
“We do not know how long the hotel will remain closed as the economy is uncertain.
“Things will be decided once the economy bounces back or if we are able to get things back on track,” he said.
Amran added that the closure of the hotel would not affect operations at Penang Plaza, which is an annexe building adjacent to the hotel.