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Senior citizen gets to keep his 100-year-old coffee shop

 | February 28, 2017

Ampang Municipal Council says 73-year-old can keep his outlet if he allows it to take the six-feet alleyway of his shop to make way for lorries.


AMPANG: A 73-year-old restaurant owner in Pekan Ampang here can breathe a sigh of relief after local authorities backtracked on an earlier decision to tear down his shop.

Lai Thien Sang’s century-old coffee shop at the Pekan Ampang market was jeopardised last week after the Ampang Municipal Council (MPAJ) said the outlet was situated on a piece of land reserved for construction of a road.

But today, the Ampang Umno division chief Ismail Kijo said MPAJ had decided not to demolish Lai’s shop.

“The owner, in return, had agreed to let MPAJ take the six-feet alleyway of his shop to make way for lorries to pass through the road and alleyway,” Ismail said at a press conference.

According to Ismail, the road is now 21 feet wide.

On Feb 23, Ismail and other local Barisan Nasional component party leaders staged a protest at the Ampang market over claims that MPAJ had not compensated Lai for the loss of his coffee shop.

Ismail had said that MPAJ must compensate any operator of a shop it wants to tear down.

During the protest, Lai also voiced concern over his income if his family-owned restaurant was to be demolished.

When asked today if business would be affected by the demolition of the alleyway, the 73-year-old said he was just glad his shop had not been torn down.

“I just want to continue my business in the shop, no matter if the alleyway is there or not,” he said.

Ismail added that during a meeting with MPAJ last week, Lai had agreed to bear the consequences if the heavy vehicles travelling along the road caused any cracks in his shop.

In the press conference today, Ismail also responded to Ampang MP Zuraida Kamaruddin who said earlier that the Pekan Ampang market traders and shop operators had agreed to move to an alternative venue nearby, provided by the state government.

Ismail claimed that Zuraida had not checked her facts.

“She was told by the councillor all traders have agreed to the demolition.

“However, some traders do not agree because the state government had yet to give them an alternative place to operate their businesses,” he said, adding that Zuraida had been fed with wrong information.


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