TWO hotels in Bukit Bintang, which have been ordered to stop operations for two months, are back in business.
It is learnt that the order has been lifted by City Hall - with a warning to the hotels.
In September, City Hall's Committee for Hotel Licences Cancellation decided to close down the hotels in Jalan Alor and Changkat Bukit Bintang after police raids found that the hotel rooms were used for prostitution activities. The order took effect on Oct 15.
Deputy Tourism Minister Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who helped the hotels to resolve the matter, said he received a memorandum from the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) on the matter and felt that their explanations were justified.
The hotels justified that the vice activities were not organised by them and the hotel guests should not be penalised. Furthermore, the staff could have lost their jobs and, based on humanitarian ground, I think I should help them.
I negotiated with City Hall to give them a final warning and the hotel must check on their guests, he said, adding that City Hall director-general Salleh Yusup had then agreed to lift the closure order.
However, Ahmad Zahid advised hotels to check on the background of their guests to help combat vice in the city.
When contacted, a public relations executive from the hotel in Changkat Bukit Bintang said the hotel had been informed by MAH that it could continue its operations.
She said the hotel management had explained to City Hall that they had no control over the use of their hotel rooms by health club operators and prostitutes.
She said the health club within the hotel's premises had ceased operations, adding that the hotel did not run the health club and the latter was just a tenant.
A general manager of the hotel in Jalan Alor said the hotel should not be penalised for the prostitution activities carried out in its premises but rather the health club next to the hotel should face the music.
We are not associated with the health club. People will use our hotel rooms. We cannot monitor everything.
Is it the fault of the hotel? Why dont they close the spa instead? she asked.
She said the health club was located in another building.
In any hotel, we prefer not to have health clubs as they turn our clients away. I do not want them (the prostitutes) to walk around and will not allow them to make bookings for hotel rooms if I see them, she said.
A third hotel, near Petaling Street, has ceased operations following a similar order by the local authority.
A notice at the hotel's entrance stated that the hotel would be closed from Oct 15 to Jan 14.
City Hall had revoked the licences of Hotel Peng Ann, Hotel Wing Heng, Hotel Tai Wah, Hotel Lucky, and Rumah Tumpangan Chong Mee, all of which are in Brickfields, and Rumah Tumpangan Yin Chew in Petaling Street.