By YS Chan
I refer to “Cars clamped because compounds ignored, says DBKL” published in FMT on Jan 6.
Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) Enforcement director Mustafa Mohd Nor was reported to have said that more than 120,000 traffic compounds are issued monthly, but no one bothers to settle these and therefore action has to be taken for the benefit of the city.
If he had gone after these defaulters, he has my whole-hearted support. But why were his enforcement officers clamping cars that were properly parked within designated lots just because they did not display a valid parking coupon?
I find it amazing that many people support what DBKL does. My only hope is that they do not come across a situation when their own cars are clamped because the parking coupons have expired or the parking machine is out of order.
It will be a sad day indeed if our authorities chose the easy way out by punishing a few for the lightest of offences while ignoring serious violations, and yet receive the support of those who cannot differentiate between the two.
Allow me to reiterate what happened on Jan 4 at Fraser Park Kuala Lumpur. Many cars were properly parked within the designated lot but failed to display a valid parking coupon. These cars were clamped and served a notice to take action within four hours, failing which their cars would be towed away.
I spoke to a few drivers who called the three telephone numbers displayed at the clamping device but could not get through, and neither could I when I tried to help. A car which was parked overnight within a designated lot was towed away just because the driver did not make contact with the officers manning the three phone numbers.
Surely, vehicles that are parked within designated lots should only be served a notice of offence at most and not be clamped, more so when enforcement officers are not around or cannot be reached.
I have no objection to DBKL increasing the compound fine to RM50 if settled within 15 days and beyond that RM100. But I find it ridiculous that summonses issued from 2007 to 2011 may be settled for as low as RM10 each, those from 2012 to 2014 for RM20 each, and those from 2015 for RM30 each.
It would be acceptable if DBKL had begun clamping cars with more than five outstanding summonses, as 4,459 such offenders had been blacklisted since 2013. I had also stated that vehicles parked indiscriminately and causing obstruction should be towed away.
As such, I advocate DBKL’s get tough policy on serious offenders. But why is it using a sledgehammer approach on offences that warrant nothing more than a compound fine such as when valid parking coupons are not didsplayed?
My letter sent to FMT on Jan 4 was accompanied with many photographs showing the clamped cars parked within designated lots. My car was parked in a basement and not affected but I had to speak up about the situation, as gross injustice was done on many drivers who found their cars clamped.
YS Chan is an FMT reader.