With thanks to FMT
Sleepless in Gelugor
Complainant tells FMT that MPPP informed him that it is unable to shut the illegal motel next door due to weak evidence.
GEORGE TOWN: A resident in Sunway Bukit Gambier in Gelugor here is lamenting over the local council’s (MPPP) inaction on a supposedly illegal motel operating in the neighbourhood for the past three years.
IT consultant Tan Kim Seng, 50, who stays next to the motel, claimed that the motel had been allegedly operating without a licence in a renovated semi-detached, double-storey house since February 2011.
Tan also claimed that his family had been suffering from sleepless nights due to nuisance caused by the motel.
Loud whirrs from the motel’s high-pressure water pump would keep Tan and his family awake in the wee hours.
His wife Irene Neou, 50, is consuming sleeping pills regularly to catch up on sleep.
Tan is upset over MPPP’s lukewarm response to his numerous complaints lodged since last year against the alleged illegal motel.
He said he was informed by the council about the lack of strong evidence required to shut the motel.
Tan is disappointed that the local council could not resolve the problem despite the Pakatan Rakyat state government advocating Competency, Accountability and Transparency (CAT) in its administrative policy.
“The council claimed lack of evidence on the illegal activities and another reason given was that the operator was trying to sell the house. So, why is MPPP not transparent in the matter?” Tan asked.
He has spent a few thousand ringgit to install closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV) merely to collect the evidence especially on guests checking in and out.
However, the motel operator erected a retaining wall to block the CCTV camera.
“The council’s enforcement team came thrice this year with the latest in September but still no action is taken against the operator,” Tan said.
He added that the disturbance was unbearable with the heavy traffic compounding the problem as numerous cars bearing plates from other states parked outside his house.
Tan said tour buses were also coming into the neighbourhood to drop and pick up guests from the motel.
He has now collected all the evidence to substantiate his complaints to the council.
When the motel operator saw newsmen roaming outside the premises yesterday, he instantly put up two banners stating, “house for sale or rent.”
MPPP president Patahiyah Ismail and its building department director Yew Tung Seang could not be reached for comment.
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