MH17: Entertainment outlets told to pipe down

MH17: Entertainment outlets told to pipe down
People hold candles during a candlelight vigil for victims of the downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, in Kuala Lumpur July 19, 2014. A funeral prayer in absence of the dead will be held for Muslim victims at mosques today.

KUALA LUMPUR - Owners of entertainment outlets in the city received an order from Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to stop entertainment activities for 24 hours from 7am today as a mark of respect to those who died in the MH17 tragedy.

However, many establishments claim the rule is unfair as Friday night is usually busy for them.

"It is one thing to ask people to observe a minute's silence, but quite another to ask people to stop operation for an entire day,'' said Jerry Chong of the Backyard Pub in KL.

"We could ask customers to wear black as a mark of respect but it is not right to ask us to stop everything as the livelihood of a lot of people depends on Friday night."

Chong also said he and many of his counterparts did not receive the notice which said the Entertainment Act 1992 (WPKL) would be used against anyone who did not adhere to the order.

"People have made reservations, it is not fair to put us in a spot like this," Chong added.

"This is severe," Bangsar Business Council president Ronnie Quay said.

Quay, who owns the Ronnie Q pub in Bangsar, added: "While we sympathise with the victims of the tragedy, City Hall could have at least advised pub owners to observe a minute's silence instead of compelling us to do this."

A pub owner who spoke on condition of anonymity said the compulsion was a bit too much.

"And it is confusing to tell us to stop all entertainment activities."

Zouk marketing manager Jimmy Lee said they would be shutting down all operations, except their Zouk Cafe Bar, which would only be serving food and drinks.

A DBKL spokesman said they were merely following a directive from the PM's Department.

Asked on the entertainment activities that is disallowed, the spokesman said: "They should know themselves what respect means."

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