A commotion broke out when the police and Klang town council officers tried to confiscate furniture from the popular Berkeley Corner restaurant faced resistance from its patrons and supporters.
The decades-old Berkeley Corner on Persiaran Rajawali in Taman Berkeley, Klang, had been having problems renewing its Temporary Occupation Licence (TOL) with the Selangor land office since 2007, FMT reported.
“In 2014, the land office suddenly decided not to proceed with the renewal just after a 12-storey high Wisma 99 Speedmart went up a few metres opposite the restaurant,” owner Muthusamy Thirumeni was reported a saying.
According to Muthusamy, who is also Persatuan Pengusaha Restoran Malaysia (Primas) president, he had previously asked the land office to explain why it rejected the restaurant’s application to renew its TOL but did not receive a response.
In September 2014, a planned demolition of the restaurant was aborted after Kapar MP G Manivannan intervened.
Early this morning, the side and front entrances that led to the restaurant were blocked by two large lorries and a tractor which, customers alleged was to prevent cars gaining access to to the area.
The back entrance was opened later and the restaurant’s supporters started arriving at the parking area at 7am.
Soon the outlet was packed with a mixed crowd of Chinese, Indians and Malay patrons and supporters.
Manivannan, Klang MP Charles Santiago and more than 30 Indian NGO heads were also present to prevent any untoward incident and appeal to the authorities to stop their actions.
Santiago said he found it difficult to understand why the authorities were so bent on tearing down the restaurant.
“Many customers come here every day and this building has been around for decades.
“The thing is, if they want to sell the land, the restaurant owners are willing to buy it,” Santiago said.
When the police and authorities wanted to remove the furniture, the patrons and supporters moved in and stopped them.
An argument also broke out between Manivannan and a police officer.
The authorities finally gave in at about 9.50am.
Gobinath Karuppan, a lawyer representing the restaurant, said an injunction had been filed with the Shah Alam High Court to prohibit the demolition of the restaurant.
“The suit is pending and any action against the restaurant at this point will be a contempt of court,” Gobinath said.
Another lawyer on the scene, Farhana Halim, said that a copy of the injunction had been given to the relevant authority last Friday.
“Therefore, their action today is illegal,” Farhana added.
The lawyers revealed that the court hearing will be held tomorrow.