Wed, 31 Mar 1999

Parking space at Hotel Mulia sealed off

JAKARTA (JP): Central Jakarta authorities sealed off the 5,000 square meter parking space of the five-star Hotel Mulia on Tuesday morning.

According to Mayor Andi Subur Abdullah, who led the 9:30 a.m. operation, the space was sealed off based on Gubernatorial Decree No. 1068/1997 on violations of land use by the hotel.

The sealing was witnessed by few hotel executives but is said to have caused embarrassment for the hotel's management.

Management insisted they were "just tidying up the space" by hardening the surface with cement and making some concrete blocks and had no plans to develop the area.

Hotel's director of special accounts Amita Andan Sari, said management had no intention to construct a tower on the plot.

"That space was filthy with garbage, flies and hotel waste. The management wanted it cemented for cleanliness sake. We never thought the mayoralty would act so fast," Amita told The Jakarta Post late Tuesday.

According to a Central Jakarta official, the hotel's management has been barred from touching the area, cementing the ground or using the space for car parking.

The space, located next to the hotel, has been officially designated part of the city's green belt, said the official, who asked for anonymity.

"(With the surface that had been hardened) it seems that the hotel was planning to build a second tower which they have no right to do so," the official told the Post.

It is alleged the space was allocated by hotel management to build a second 56-story tower. The first tower is currently used for its 40-story hotel.

The city administration attacked the plan as the hotel management lacked building and other regulatory permits.

The administration also insisted the area had been designed for public sports facilities not for business enterprises.

The hotel, which is partly owned by the Jakarta Country Club, a subsidiary of the 1997 SEA Games Consortium, chaired by former president Soeharto's second son Bambang Trihatmodjo, was fined two years ago for violating city regulations on the maximum height of buildings.

The initial plan approved for the hotel project, jointly signed by then Jakarta governor Surjadi Soedirdja and former state secretary/minister Moerdiono, allowed for construction of a 16-story structure.

Instead, the owner constructed the building more than two times higher.

For the violations management was fined Rp 20.5 billion, later reduced by 25 percent at the request of the hotel.

Andi Subur said at the site yesterday that hotel management had so far paid Rp 250 million of its 15.38 billion penalty. (ylt/bsr)