KUALA LUMPUR, June 28 ― Petaling Jaya's 24-hour restaurants will have to cut short their business hours from July 1, as a new local council rule requires a mandatory daily two-hour break for cleaning up.
Petaling Jaya Mayor Datuk Mohd Azizi Mohd Zain said the new rule which requires 24-hour restaurants to close from 1am to 3am will affect 98 outlets in the Selangor city. They must also put up notices of their closure from 1am to 3am for cleaning.
“We want the 24-hour restaurants to strictly close the business from 1am to 3am. They must use the time to clean the place well,” he was quoted saying by The Star.
He said the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) decided to fix a time to prevent restaurant operators from giving excuses when their outlets are inspected, noting that restaurants would not clean up if allowed to pick their own preferred timing.
“If our officers found a restaurant dirty at 3am, they may say that they planned to clean up soon.
“If we set a time, they cannot give that excuse,” he was quoted saying.
He said the new rule will not apply to hotel restaurants and 24-hour fast food outlets as they already had high hygiene standards, with even those at petrol kiosks found to be clean during MBPJ's inspections.
According to StarBiz, those who fail to comply will risk having their operating licences revoked.
When pointed out that many matches of the ongoing World Cup which ends July 18 are shown live at 24-hour restaurants during the 2am and 4am period, Mohd Aziz : “There will always be some international matches or games played at wee hours. After World Cup it would be the English Premier League.”
He said it was best to introduce the rule in July as there had been many news reports of restaurants with poor standards of cleanliness.
Malaysian Muslim Restaurant Owners Association president Ayoob Khan Mohamad Yakub said that the association is willing to cooperate with MBPJ and had even suggested the same move to other local councils.
But he said the mandatory two-hour closure should be fixed at non-peak operating hours of 4am to 6am, which he said is when restaurants usually carry out their cleaning activities to prepare for peak hour that starts at 7am.