Entertainment outlets operating beyond closing hours face severe action, says minister

  • Community
  • Saturday, 09 Aug 2014

In memory: People lighting candles at the spot where two British students were killed. - ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE / The Star

KUCHING: The Kuching South City Council (MBKS) will not hesitate to take action against entertainment outlets that do not comply with their closing times.

Local Government and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh said pubs and karaoke outlets under MBKS’ jurisdiction must close at 2.30am while reflexology centres can only open until 12.30am.

“Enforcement officers from MBKS carry out checks from time to time. If they are found to be operating beyond their closing hours, they will be issued compounds of RM500 to RM1,000.

“If they still don’t comply, we will not hesitate to close them down,” he told a press conference at MBKS headquarters here yesterday.

He issued this warning in the wake of the murder of Newcastle University medical students Neil Dalton and Aidan Brunger on Wednesday. The victims were fatally stabbed after an early morning quarrel with four local men in Jalan Abell.

Both parties were said to have been drinking in different bars earlier before encountering one another at another outlet.

Wong said MBKS paid greater attention in its enforcement to areas identified as hotspots, such as Travillion, Central Park, Jalan Ban Hock, Fortuneland and RH Plaza.

However, he said the council also needed cooperation from police and relevant agencies to ensure comprehensive enforcement.

“The councils are responsible for the premises, where the outlets are situated, the health aspects and operating hours. We do not have control over the employment of their staff — that is up to the Immigration and Labour departments.

“We would like to appeal to all government agencies to work closely together and make concerted efforts to minimise incidents that may take place,” he said.

He also appealed to entertainment outlet operators to comply with closing times and not to engage in unlawful activities.

In addition, he called on customers to exercise self-control and to report any potential dispute or argument immediately to the police.

Wong said it was tragic that the two British students were murdered and conveyed his heartfelt condolences to their families.

“All of us feel very sad over what happened. This was a very unfortunate incident that happened here in Kuching, but it could have happened anywhere else.

“We’d like to say that Kuching, compared to other cities in this part of the world, is one of the safest cities,” he added.

Meanwhile, Kuching South mayor Datuk James Chan said the installation of additional CCTV cameras under the Federal Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry had started in the Tabuan Jaya area.

He said the cameras would be installed in 20 areas identified by the police, including Kenyalang Park, Premier 101, BDC, Jalan Setia Raja, Chong Lin Park, Jalan Ban Hock, Jalan Song Thian Chiok, Jalan Datuk Abang Abdul Rahim, Jalan Padungan, Jalan Abell, Travillion, Fourth Mile, Third Mile and Yoshi Square.

“I applied for this four years ago and I’m happy that it is starting at last. They have started building the footing for the CCTV at Tabuan Jaya,” he said, adding that the installation at all 20 spots was expected to be completed by the end of the year.

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