Restoran Nasi Ayam Masak Merah, popularly referred to as “Nasi Ganja”, at Jalan Yang Kalsom, Ipoh reopened for business on Monday, November 18, three days after a close-down order for “preparing food in an unhygienic environment”.
The outlet was ordered to close for two weeks by the Kinta District Health Department following a joint operation with Ipoh City Council, the Perak Domestic Trade, Cooperative and Consumerism Department and the Perak Immigration Department on Thursday, November 14.
Restaurant manager, Mohd Nihmatullah Syed Mustafa, said he had immediately complied with the close-down order. Officials from the district health department returned on Sunday, November 17 for an inspection and, having found that conditions imposed were met, gave their approval for a reopening.
State Health Director, Dato’ Dr Nordiyanah bt Hj Hassan, when contacted said that so long as the outlet complied with all requirements it could reopen straight away.
According to Nihmatullah, the owner cleaned up the kitchen and abided by other health requirements, which included installing a new refrigerator. The overall cost was about RM10, 000.
During lunchtime on re-opening day, Monday, November 18, the long queue was conspicuously missing. Despite this, the restaurant was packed. Unlike before, it was a lot easier to find a seat.
Nihmatullah said that business was 40 percent below usual but he was happy, as many of his regular customers were present. “It’ll take sometime for normalcy to return,” he added.
Ang Kuang Ngiap, the proprietor of Yong Suan Coffee Shop, was glad that the whole episode was over. “The nasi kandar outlet has been with the shop since we started business in 1959 and when it was ordered to close we have to close too.”
Mr Lee, a regular customer, said, “My friends and I have been eating at this restaurant for over 20 years. We’ll keep coming no matter what happened.”