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Sunday, December 31, 2017

Another hotel panders to politicians


Individuals and businesses are feeling the pinch in today’s economic climate. One would think that companies would try their level best to keep their heads above water but when a hotel cancels a booking because someone disagrees with the presence of a politician from the Opposition, one has to wonder if it is looking after its business interests, or allowing itself to be politically manipulated?
What is the company more concerned about? Its customers, or its political masters?
Recently, a hotel in Kota Bharu, Kelantan allowed politics to influence its business decision. It has been alleged by the editor of the news portal, Sokmo.net, that the booking for an event was cancelled two days before it was due to begin.
The booking had been confirmed earlier this month and the reason for the cancellation, was that a directive had been issued to the hotel management to reject the booking because the event included the Amanah vice-president, Husam Musa.
Last month, PKR deputy president and menteri besar of Selangor Azmin Ali, found that his party’s booking for a conference hall and other facilities at the Hotel Seri Malaysia (HSM) in Ipoh, had been cancelled at the eleventh hour.
Aziz Sheikh Fadzir, who sits on the hotel’s board of directors, denied suggestions that the board had influenced the cancellation, or that the move had been politically motivated. He also claimed that the decision to cancel was made entirely by the management, who discovered at the last minute, that Azmin would attend. This they claimed, would embroil the hotel in controversy and tarnish its name.
These allegations were refuted by the Perak PKR secretary, Abdul Yunus Jamahari, who alleged that their representative was told that the booking had been cancelled at 10pm on the night before the event.
It is apparent that in the months preceding GE14, some politicians are getting jittery. It does not make good business sense for these hoteliers in Kota Bharu and Ipoh, to cancel this business. They are merely shooting themselves in the foot.
The reaction of many people has been predictable. Many said that cancelling a booking without a valid reason, or because a particular person was attending, will only drive people away.
A travelling salesman said, “The owners of these hotels have just shown how not to run a hotel. What are the hotel’s priorities? The customer or their political masters? Why get involved in petty party politics?”
A couple who runs a homestay said, “Money is money. What is wrong with the colour of PKR or Amanah’s money? Customers who pay in advance, are valued clients. Why are the top management of these businesses so shortsighted?”
One person who provides services to the hospitality industry said, “Perhaps, these hotels will come to their senses, when customers vote with their feet, and stay away. A boycott of these places, because the managements are more interested in playing politics than providing good customer service, will make them have a rethink.”
Mariam Mokhtar is an FMT columnist.

1 comment:

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