Outdoor dining incidents prompt calls for stricter measures

KUALA LUMPUR: The recent incident along Persiaran Raja Muda Musa where a motorcyclist's reckless maneuver through a restaurant's outdoor seating area has reignited concerns about safety in such spaces.

Alliance for A Safe Community chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye emphasised the need for heightened vigilance among restaurant operators and customers regarding safety precautions.

He said although it was undeniably a "thing" for Malaysians to prefer eating outside, they must also be cautious of their safety.

He said the police, carrying out the 'Op Ambang Tahun Baru 2024', were just doing their job to ensure road and public safety during the New Year celebration.

"Of course, they (customers) have the right to eat wherever they want. But at the same time, they must be conscious of their safety.

"Based on the report, the police were pursuing these errant motorcyclists who were trying to avoid being caught.

"However, there were also instances where even without police carrying out operations, incidents like this still happen such as cars ploughing through eateries," he told the New Straits Times.

The incident, occurred in the early hours of Monday morning, has captured the attention of social media users.

The rider was seen knocking into chairs and tables where customers were sitting at the front of the restaurant and managed to escape the police.

Customers were only exposing themselves to risks for the sake of eating outside which most Malaysians would feel more comfortable.

"I understand that maybe the inside of the restaurant could be hot, and eating outside is what most of us are used to.

"But anything could happen and we can never know the circumstances and what might happen next.

"Fortunately, the incident did not involve any injuries or death."

In 2022, it was reported that seven people were injured when a car crashed into an outdoor dining area of a restaurant at Jalan Klang Lama, here.

The injured were three men and four women, all locals, who were eating at the restaurant.

On Aug 26, 2023, about 11 customers, including children, were hit by a multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) while dining at the Tanjung Kling Food Court in Melaka.

In a viral video, a Toyota Avanza was seen reversing the car until it crashed into the food court where a few families were having their meals.

Customers attempted to avoid the vehicle, but their efforts were futile due to its speed and proximity.

On Nov 24, 2023, an elderly woman was killed and another injured when a car crashed into a restaurant in Taman Meranti, Bahau, Seremban.

The elderly suffered serious neck injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Lee urged the local authorities to be more strict in law enforcement because safety must always be everyone's utmost priority.

"Local authorities provide licensing to restaurant operators for their business. But not to put tables and chairs on the roadside or parking lot.

"But as I said, there are two reasons, one of them being the members public's preference to eat outside for fresh air.

"And another is on the business side where restaurants want to pull in more customers by adding more tables, thus increasing their income.

"So which one is more important? Safety, or business? This is something that local authorities should monitor," he said.

Most Popular
Related Article
Says Stories