PETALING JAYA: Anyone with information on unlicensed hotels can complain to the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry and the local authorities for action to be taken.
Its minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi (pic) urged those with details to submit the names and number of the illegal premises.
“I recommend the public to report immediately to the relevant local authorities if they are aware of the existence of illegal premises in their area,” he said, responding to The Star’s exclusive report on unlicensed hotels and guesthouses mushrooming nationwide.
“If these exist, I will activate the relevant agencies to work closely with the local authorities for further action,” he said.
Mohamaddin acknowledged that it is a complicated issue to regulate, and they may need to work with other ministries and local councils to create a new mechanism as a solution.
“We will work with local authorities to track the existence of these illegal premises more often,” he said, adding that he hopes to do it once a month.
He said the authorities would also need to discuss what actions could be taken apart from the provisions under the Tourism Industry Act 1992.
Mohamaddin added that the public might be duped by online advertising into thinking that these illegal premises are licensed accommodation.
“If something bad happens, it does not just involve the victim’s life, but it will also create a bad image for the country’s tourism sector,” he said.
Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad reportedly said more places in residential areas were also being run as bed and breakfast and budget hotels, to the chagrin of some resident associations.