Why Khalid Samad is right about closing nightspots on time

If you haven’t read or heard, Federal Territory Minister Khalid Samad has been pushing for nightspots to close according to their licensed closing hours in Kuala Lumpur.

This was earlier met by brickbats by certain activists and even the industry. But honestly, if you bought a license that allows you to operate only up to 1AM, then you should adhere by it.

If nightclubs and nightspots wish to open later up to 3AM, 4AM and even 5AM as Khalid said there are such spots, then by all means apply for such a license.

This is not some religious issue or even some agenda to Islamicise the nightspots. It is about Kuala Lumpur City Hall enforcing their regulations in order to make sure that owners of such institutions pay up their licensing fees for opening later or shut down on time.

If anything, it reminds me of hanging out with David Wu in Greenwich last year and having a waiter tell us that they would be closing the outside seating areas at 7PM due to their “license”.

We didn’t even know that London had licenses for alfresco seating up to a certain hour. And perhaps, in a move for DBKL to look into, they should consider how to look at the licenses for entertainment and eateries when it comes to after hours (midnight and beyond) as well as outside seating areas.

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Can a congestion charge stop congestion in KL?

There was an announcement today that the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) is already preparing to implement a congestion charge – or as they call it – “road pricing”, once the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Line 1 from Kajang to Sg Buloh comes online.

The MRT project is due to be online by end of 2016, thus the question from DBKL is on how much they will charge and also, who will manage it.

However, a larger question would be whether such a cost will impact traffic into Kuala Lumpur, or just lead to increased griping about high cost of living without alternatives, as Malaysians are oft to do.

Similarly, it comes to mind that perhaps the congestion charge will impact multiple services, including taxis, buses, even Uber and GrabCar. Continue reading “Can a congestion charge stop congestion in KL?”