Kedai Kopi Kong Heng is a popular kopitiam that serves many of the hawker foods we grew up loving – Sar Hor Fun, Rojak and Popiah to name a few. However, what’s above it might still be a mystery to some.
Sekeping Kong Heng is amongst the many hotels established in the heart of Ipoh by the Sekeping family of retreats. It is truly an impressive accommodation for travellers as it casts them in the scene of busy-bee Ipoh in all its glory – from hawker foods to mural arts. But just like how you can smell the smoke and aroma rising up from the boiling White Coffee from below; one day you just might smell the smoke coming from the back of your room!
So what do you do in response? The obvious answer would be to run to the nearest fire exit. However, when there is no exit to run to, there is no escape!
Several customers of this hotel have come forward to Ipoh Echo for an investigation into the matter of fire safety and regulations that such hotels undertake, and whether they conform to fire safety standards set by the Fire and Rescue Department Malaysia (FRDM). This includes the initiatives taken up by hotelier(s) to provide clear visual direction to fire exits or, at least, on what to do in such an event.
“Fire safety is a big concern to my family”, reads one of the comments sourced online. “We have to open locks from within the gate through a small opening which I doubt the Fire Safety Department will approve of such a set-up.” He added.
“Given that we’ve recently had a fire tragedy in KL,” reads a letter to Ipoh Echo. “Can someone please let me know whether this hotel conforms to local fire regulations?”
Clearly, as alarming an issue as this is, it only adds to the wound when just below the hotel are industrial-sized gas cylinders that could be the catalyst to a very big problem – one that could end with disastrous consequences.
The question at stake; is this building approved under the Fire Safety Act?