Popular Ipoh hotel to shut for good April 30 as MCO deals final blow | Malaysia


A general view of the Tower Regency Hotel and Apartments in Ipoh April 1, 2020. — Picture by Farhan Najib

JOHOR BARU, April 1 — For a hotel in Ipoh, the movement control order (MCO), which was enforced to stop the chain of Covid-19 infections in Malaysia, is the straw that broke the camel’s back.

The Tower Regency Hotel and Apartment Sdn Bhd will close its doors on April 30 due to financial problems that the company has been facing for the past three years, which have been aggravated by the enforcement of MCO.

A notice of closure, which was issued by the management to its staff, has been making the rounds on social media.

A front office manager of the hotel, who wanted to remain anonymous, confirmed the closure and said that he received the notice yesterday evening.

“Yes, it is true. We received the notice yesterday evening,” he told Malay Mail when contacted.

When asked whether the closure was due to the MCO, the staff said that was what the management had claimed.

He said that a total of 150 local staff will be affected by the decision.

The notice from the hotel, dated March 31 and with the name and signature of its managing director Simon Leong, said that the hotel had lost millions over the last three years in a bid to keep the property afloat.

“It is with great regret that the board of directors and management of Tower Regency Hotel and Apartment are notifying all staff that the hotel will cease operations on April 30, 2020,” a copy of the notice sighted by Malay Mail read.

“Over the last three years, millions of ringgit was invested to ensure that it was business as usual at the hotel and our shareholders were forced to invest even more money in hopes of changing how the business was run and to protect our workers.”

The statement then went on to say that despite the management’s efforts, they had made the decision to close “with a heavy heart” because they were unable to overcome the challenges of an uncertain economy and unexpected changes in market conditions.

It also offered the reassurance that despite the difficult situation, the hotel management will pay all salaries and also compensate workers, according to the Employment Act 1955 based on their rights.

Following the announcement by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on the MCO, which was enforced from March 18 to March 31 and extended until April 14, all non-essential sectors, including hotel industry, have had to close their businesses temporarily as a measure to stop the spread of Covid-19 infection.

The Tower Regency Hotel and Apartments located on Jalan Dato Seri Ahmad Said here opened in January 2009 and has 202 rooms, seven function rooms and one grand ballroom.

The hotel is also popular among business entities and political parties as several business conferences and political meetings and gatherings were held there over the years.

 



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