Protect budget hotel owners, association tells government


KUALA LUMPUR — The Malaysia Budget Hotel Association (MyBHA) has asked the government to immediately draft an act to protect hotel owners and operators from the impact of COVID-19.

Its national deputy president, Sri Ganesh Michiel said the association had received a lot of negative feedback from its members that the Special Relief Fund (SRF) announced by the government was not friendly to hoteliers.

“The banking and financial institutions have been avoiding the hotel industry as they misunderstood this industry as a high-risk industry,” he said in a statement today.

The government is allocating RM5 billion under the SRF to provide relief assistance to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) affected by COVID-19.

Sri Ganesh, who is also MyBHA’s national legal and information and communications technology bureau chairman, claimed that property owners were allegedly taking advantage of the situation by rejecting, or being reluctant to allow a waiver or give rental discounts to their tenants who had invested in converting the property into a hotel.

He said hotel owners were also worried that they could lose possession of their hotels, due to non-payment of rentals, to property owners, who were currently enjoying a moratorium for their mortgage loans.

“This is not fair for our members who are making losses,” he said, adding that the move could lead to the closure of hotel businesses, as well as the rise in legal cases, bankruptcies and retrenchments.