Malaysian Association of Hotels working with police to reduce crime at hotels in Penang

An aerial view of Gurney Drive from Komtar in George Town, Penang September 7, 2020. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
An aerial view of Gurney Drive from Komtar in George Town, Penang September 7, 2020. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

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GEORGE TOWN, Dec 8 — Hotels in Penang will assist the police in ensuring a safe tourism environment and help reduce the crime rate at their premises.

Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) Penang Chapter chairman K. Raj Kumar said the association realises that hotels are targeted by irresponsible parties to conduct various criminal activities and it did not only threaten the safety of hotel staff but also visitors and tourists in the state.

“MAH and the Penang police are working together in a campaign known as CRASH, Creating Relationships and Safe Hotels, in which we will ensure hotels in the state are locations safe from crime.

“We also want hotel guests to realise we maintain good ties with the police as it will inspire confidence in tourists that they are always safe and prioritised during their stay at hotels in Penang,” he told reporters after a CRASH campaign meeting between the association and the police here today.

Under the CRASH campaign, MAH Penang Chapter hoped the police will increase patrols at hotel areas to prevent the locations from being focal points for criminals and offer training sessions to hotel staff regarding related legal aspects.

“This is actually among the first of many partnerships between MAH Penang Chapter and the police, and many more initiatives will be implemented to create a safe hotel environment in the state,” he said.

Raj Kumar also said that although hotels in the state were nearly fully booked with the coming school holidays set to begin next week, hotels would only have 70 per cent of their rooms available due to the lack of 3D (dirty, dangerous and difficult) sector workers in the hotel line.

He said that hotels had advertised jobs targeting locals for 3D positions with salaries beginning from RM1,500 but they were not well-received as locals were not interested in such jobs.

“I myself have sent a letter to the Home Ministry (KDN) to request that agents be allowed to bring in foreign workers, especially 3D workers, to address the lack (of workers) here. This is a major problem hotel operators face,” he added.

Meanwhile, Penang deputy police chief Datuk Fisol Salleh, who was at the meeting, said that around 20 crimes were reported to have occurred at hotels, including theft, robbery and rape in the past two years.

With MAH Penang Chapter’s cooperation under CRASH, he was confident that crime could be prevented more effectively.

“This partnership is a good step that will help police react faster to prevent crime as hotels can provide information or cooperate to identify possible criminal activities occurring in hotels,” he said. — Bernama

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