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Monday, June 26, 2017

MCA: Why take away rice bowls of restaurateurs?

Popular spot: Tanjung Sepat, which is near Morib, is a fishing town famous for its seafood.
Popular spot: Tanjung Sepat, which is near Morib, is a fishing town famous for its seafood.

TANJUNG SEPAT: Two operators whose restaurants were demo­lished to make way for a district council food court and upgrading of the local jetty say the livelihood of over a hundred people has now been affected.
“It is not just us, the business owners. We have about 30 workers and our suppliers are mainly locals and orang asli.
“We do not just get our supply from local fishermen, the orang asli also sell their oyster and shellfish to us,” said Lee Seow Chai whose Ocean Seafood Restaurant was demolished earlier this month.
Lovers Bridge restaurant operator Low Swee King said both his and Lee’s restaurants had been around for about 20 years.
He said both of them would go to the Kuala Langat District Council headquarters tomorrow to apply for lots at the new food court.
“We were informed that we will be given priority. Still, this does not solve our problem,’’ he added.
Both restaurants, located on the waterfront, had Temporary Occu­pation Licences that lapsed in 2015. Attempts to renew the TOLs were unsuccessful.
Tanjung Sepat, which is near Morib, is a fishing town famous for its seafood.
Speaking at a press conference organised by Sepang MCA division chief Datuk Ng Chok Sin here yesterday, Lee and Low appealed to the state government to provide them with alternative lots to run their business until the food court is ready in about two years.
Low said he had taken over the Lovers Bridge restaurant from his deceased brother and paid a monthly rental to his sister-in-law.
Lee’s cousin, Serene, claimed that there had been verbal offers from the state government to lease out land to them.
“But we dared not move without anything in writing,’’ she added.
Ng said the Selangor Local Govern­ment, New Village Develop­ment and Legalising of Factories Committee chairman Ean Yong Hian Wah should not “mix up” the jetty upgrade with the waterfront beautification project.
“With the restaurants demo­lished, their rice bowls have been affected.
“The state government should be more sensitive to the people’s plight,” he added.
Ng said the state exco cited the two restaurants as a hindrance to the jetty’s upgrade.
It was reported that the new jetty would help improve the livelihood of the local fishermen and that the state had set aside RM3.19mil for the project to be handled by the Drainage and Irrigation Depart­ment.
Tanjung Sepat resident William Cha said the loss of the two restaurants would affect economic activity here.
“We have a lot of people coming from out of town on weekends and public holidays to try the seafood at the two restaurants,’’ he added. -star

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