THE Kuala Selangor District Office has decided to demolish the former rest house in Kota Melawati where the building has been declared unsafe and abandoned for close to four years.
District officer Shamsul Sharil Badliza Mohd Noor said the double-storey brick-and-wooden structure was declared unsafe in 2006 but the operator did not want to give up the business, and had continued to operate until mid-2011.
“As soon as the operator moved out, the rest house was boarded up with hoardings. But over time, vandals had gone in and stripped the building of the metal, aluminium and wall fittings.
“There are visible signs that the building is crumbling, and wild vegetation has taken over,” he said.
Shamsul said the decision to have the building torn down was made after careful discussion with the Orang Besar Daerah Datuk Mohamad Yaacob Datuk Ismail and Public Works Department engineers.
“Our initial cost estimate to demolish the dilapidated building and cart out the rubble is RM200,000. The district office will write to the Selangor Economic Planning Unit for financial allocation. Once the demolition is completed, we will hand over the site to Kuala Selangor District Council (MDKS),” he said.
Kuala Selangor District Office has jurisdiction over the rest house and in 2007, the district had written to the state government for an allocation of RM700,000 to restore the rest house but it was denied.
Mohamad Yaacob said he handed a comprehensive report on the rest house to the Selangor Palace.
“Kuala Selangor holds great potential as a tourism spot and we must come up with a creative plan to make people want to spend more time on the hill.
“There should also be quality souvenirs for tourists.”
“All these ideas have been on the back-burner for a long time. Once MDKS takes over the site, we will table a development plan that can bring in the tourist dollars,” he said.
On Nov 2, StarMetro front-paged the rundown state of the former rest house at the Kota Melawati historical site.
State Tourism, Consumer Affairs and Environment Committee chairman Elizabeth Wong said tearing down the ramshackle building would help get the ball rolling to revitalise the area.
The Sultan of Selangor’s private secretary Datuk Mohamad Munir Bani confirmed that Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah was concerned about Kota Melawati and wanted the authorities to find a solution and improve the facilities at the tourist spot.