Work­ers go all out to spruce up Line Clear

New Straits Times - - News -

GE­ORGE TOWN: Work­ers of Line Clear Restau­rant, which was or­dered to close for two weeks af­ter Health De­part­ment of­fi­cers found rat drop­pings, rat car­casses and cock­roaches in the premises, have started clean­ing the nasi kan­dar eatery.

A board, with the words: Tutup se­men­tara, ubah suai” (Closed tem­po­rar­ily for up­grad­ing) writ­ten on it, was placed at the en­trance of the restau­rant.

Checks by the New Straits Times yes­ter­day showed work­ers re­mov­ing pots, pans and cook­ing uten­sils from the kitchen be­fore giv­ing it a good wash.

The din­ing area was filled with boxes of drinks, spices and other pro­vi­sions re­moved from the store­room, also to be thor­oughly cleaned.

The work­ers be­gan wash­ing up the place on Mon­day night, hours af­ter be­ing served the clo­sure no­tice.

A part­ner in the 70-year-old busi­ness, Ab­dul Latif Zulkhar­nai, 56, said they hoped to com­plete the clean­ing up process by to­mor­row.

“We will ask the health of­fi­cers to con­duct checks here once again so we can re­sume op­er­a­tions by Satur­day.”

Latif said he had re­ceived nu­mer­ous calls since the in­ci­dent went vi­ral.

“This restau­rant has been in op­er­a­tion for gen­er­a­tions. Our im­age as an iconic nasi kan­dar restau­rant in Pe­nang has been tar­nished.

“Our cus­tomers ques­tioned us but I couldn’t give them an ex­pla­na­tion. The neg­a­tive com­ments on so­cial me­dia is hurt­ing us badly, too,” he said.

Latif and his part­ner, Sahubar Ali Mohd Hani­bah, 59, gave the as­sur­ance that the food pre­pared would be the best and promised to look into the clean­li­ness of the restau­rant in fu­ture.

On Mon­day, health of­fi­cers found un­hy­gienic items in the store­rooms of the eatery, lo­cated next to the kitchen.

Line Clear was one of two out­lets in the state or­dered to be closed. The other was Yas­meen Nasi Kan­dar Restau­rant.

News of the clo­sure went vi­ral in the so­cial me­dia and the op­er­a­tors were bom­barded with neg­a­tive crit­i­cisms.

Sahubar said they were taken aback by the sud­den joint-raid by the state Health De­part­ment and the Pe­nang Is­land City Coun­cil.

He said his staff was aware of the rats in the premises and he had lodged a re­port with the lo­cal coun­cil to do the nec­es­sary.

“I called them last week. On Satur­day, they came to put rat poi­son. The next day, they came and col­lected many dead rats.

“Sud­denly, they raided the restau­rant and or­dered us to close for two weeks.”

Sahubar said he took over the busi­ness from the pre­vi­ous op­er­a­tor on March 1.

“We have weekly and monthly clean­ing sched­ules de­spite serv­ing nasi kan­dar 24 hours a day.

“We usu­ally do the clean­ing up dur­ing the wee hours of the morn­ing when we have few cus­tomers to serve,” he said.

PIC BY AMIR IRSYAD OMAR

Work­ers clean­ing up the Line Clear Restau­rant in Ge­orge Town, Pe­nang, yes­ter­day.

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