I was in Kuala Terengganu for the by-election recently and am going again tomorrow. I have to say that this issue of charging exorbitant rates happens not only in Kuala Terengganu but also in any other places during the by-election. And everyone is affected, not just from a particular party or whatever.
This act of charging higher rates is not limited to hotel. There are people even willing to vacate their houses for the short campaigning period of two weeks just because they can charge and get very good returns. In Kuala Terengganu, my friends were telling me that they rented houses (for a period of two weeks) for RM3,000 , RM5,000 and even RM10,000, depending on size, location and amenities available. Normally these houses would most probably only fetch between RM500.00 – RM2,000 a month.
Food is definitely much more expensive. The minute the operators see us, the prices go up by 20% to 30% most probably. I guess all these outsiders have a label on their foreheads yelling out that says “HEY!WE ARE OUTSIDERS! CHARGE US!”.
So, the complaints to the Honourable Tourism Minister about hotel charges is actually true. I can vouch for that as I was also affected. The place where I stayed in would probably charge about RM120 to a maximum RM150 on a normal day. I was hit RM350.00 a night! Yup,that’s right, more than a 100% increase.
Another famous hotel I called told me all rooms are booked but if I were to call a certain event management company, then I would most probably be able to get a room in that particular hotel. The catch – it is more expensive (by about RM100.00 – RM150.00), no credit cards, no cheques and no Letter of Warranties. Only cash! Why you might ask…..the answer is the event management company had pre-paid all the rooms and are selling to people to make profits. I was shocked and disgusted! I can appreciate someone being industrious and wanting to make profit, but this act is appalling, what more it is done with the co-operation of the hotel. I was told a certain individual had to pay RM900.00 a night in that famous hotel for his Junior suite – easily two times the normal amount.
That is why I cannot fathom how the Terengganu Hotel Association can say that is not happening. And that there are still many rooms available. Probably the rooms available are far away from Kuala Terengganu coz I have just been told (as I write, mind you) that all hotels within the vicinity are fully booked for my coming trip.
Hmm……looks like I have to share a bunk somewhere this time around. Anyone want a snorer for the next couple of nights?