Crackdown on illegal hotels in Penang

PHOTO: The Star/ANN

GEORGE TOWN - The Penang Island City Council will clamp down on unlicensed hotel operators starting next week.

State Local Government, Traffic Management and Flood Mitigation Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said 22 new unlicensed hotels on the island have been identified.

"First, we will haul up new illegal hotel operators," he said, adding that the next stage would be against the old unlicensed hotels totalling about 29.

The third and fourth stages, which will begin in November, 2016, will be against operators who did not submit their building plans and those whose building plans had been rejected.

Chow said hotels with temporary licences could renew their licences for another year.

"Hotels, motels and hostels with temporary licences must submit their building plans by Oct 31 for renewal of their licence at the old rate.

"They will have to pay triple if they fail to submit by then," he told reporters at a press conference in Komtar yesterday.

Chow said regulation was necessary as any untoward incidents at the unlicensed hotels could jeo-pardise Penang's position as an international tourism destination.

Last year, the state govern-ment decided to issue temporary licences in business areas at RM2,400 (S$800) for hotels and RM1,200 for hostels and motels, in a move to regulate the mushrooming of unlicensed hotels.

Penang Island City Council (MBPP) building director Yew Tung Seang said hotel operators who flouted the rules would be subjected to the Town and Country Plan Act, the Street, Drainage and Building Act and the Licensing Act.

Also present was Seberang Prai Municipal Council president Datuk Maimunah Mohd Sharif.

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