Monday, April 21, 2008

When an MB rather fund a hotel than service centres

In today's STAR report, the second Finance Minister reportedly urge government agencies not to waste money on needless luxuries.

“It is a moral thing. At a time when everybody is affected by price increases, government agencies should also take heed of the situation by not organising events on a big scale because this might lead to wastage.

“Government agencies should not hold events at five-star hotels, which is quite unnecessary and very costly.

“It is suffice to conduct events in a moderate manner but produce fruitful results. We should start saving money so that we can use the excess to help the rakyat,” he said.

What about state governments who, instead of concentrating on eradicating poverty, improving public facilities and basic infrastructure for the benefit of the rakyat, chose to spend millions in acquiring and refurbishing a 4-star resort hotel?

Is this something that is going to endear them to the rakyat?

KLANA Resort Seremban, which was previously known as Allson Klana Resort, will undergo a refurbishment exercise beginning this month.

Its director Datuk Mohd Haslah Mohd Amin said the refurbishment exercise, which involves 211 rooms, will be carried out in phases and is expected to be completed by June.

"Besides the rooms, we will also be upgrading our kitchen and computer system. We will spend about RM2 million for the exercise," Mohd Haslah said.

He said the hotel will also rename two of its food and beverage (F&B) outlets besides ensuring that all its F&B outlets are halal.

The state government took over the management of Klana Resort in July last year through an asset swap with Glen Glamour Sdn Bhd in a deal worth about RM80 million.

With the takeover, Menteri Besar Inc (MBI) now owns 77.25 per cent of the hotel while the rest is owned by Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Negeri Sembilan.

He said following its rebranding exercise, the hotel expects its average room rate to rise from the current RM128 to RM150.

"For this year, we expect the hotel to record a turnover of RM20 million," Mohd Haslah said.

He also said that the state government has plans to turn Emerald Spirit Sdn Bhd, Klana Resort's parent company, into the flagship company for all its hospitality related businesses.

"The plan is to inject the state government's hospitality assets into Emerald Spirit. We are currently in discussions regarding this matter and hope to finalise it by the end of the year," Mohd Haslah said. (Business Times Online, April 7, 2008)

I wonder when Mohd Haslah talked about the projected turnover of RM20 million whether a large portion of this figure is going to come from the coffers of the state and federal government.

Certainly, not many people in the state of Negeri Sembilan is amused about our MB spending millions playing hotelier. In contrast, it just makes him seem petty for terminating the RM1,500 service centre allowance for state assemblymen on the pretext of cutting costs and channeling the funds to the underprivileged.

How paltry is this sum compared to RM80 million and counting?

And how will the state-owned hotel benefit the ordinary folks compared to well-funded and efficiently-run service centres that could be set up close to them?

Itulah ...



Blogger Helen said...

Yalor, when the Pakatan came out with money saving resolutions, some ppl are pressured to do something for show. lol

21/4/08 16:04  
Blogger Anak Merdeka said...

Yalor Helen, but by cancelling the service centre allowances, he made local folks more tulan. Hopefully he continue to annoy everyone so that in the next round, we Negri folks can also have PR govt like you lucky ppl in Perak!

21/4/08 16:11  
Blogger Maverick SM said...

Actually, the Klana Allson Hotel is 80% utilised by government agencies for their functions and seminars. The upgrading will caused the room rates to increase and the govt is paying for the higher costs for the rooms too.

24/4/08 12:10  
Blogger Anak Merdeka said...

Mave, for someone who don't drop by Seremban often (I presume), you are pretty spot on!

The Yuri Japanese restaurant & bar lounge being the exception, all other facilities are more accurately 95% utilised by govt agencies.

Since it was taken over by the MB, it looks more like a clubhouse for civil servants than a hotel.

24/4/08 22:06  

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