BRACE for lots of honking and flaring tempers as a result of haphazard parking, double parking and obstructions in the city as Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) will halt clamping of vehicles that break traffic rules starting today.
Mayor Tan Sri Mohd Amin Nordin Abd Aziz, however, said it was a temporary measure.
“I will meet with Kuala Lumpur MPs on Wednesday and give them the necessary feedback on why suspending the clamping of vehicles may not be a good idea,” he said.
He said the decision to suspend clamping of vehicles was made following a request from several Kuala Lumpur MPs recently to review the parking contract awarded to Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan (YWP), the welfare arm of the Federal Territories Ministry.
YWP had outsourced its parking contract to Vista Summerose Sdn Bhd at the end of 2016.
“I was asked to suspend (clamping) for the time being. It was a request from KL MPs Lim Lip Eng, Fahmi Fadzil and Tan Kok Wai.
“We will give it a try, and on DBKL’s part we will continue with enforcement and towing of vehicles if necessary,” he said.
“The MPs must understand that while I respect them as elected representatives; I cannot be taking orders from them.
“Things are a little uncertain right now without a boss. There is no FT minister. Some decisions cannot simply be made without putting some thought into it,” Amin Nordin added.
On the possibility of an increase in traffic offences from today as a result of the no-clamping move, the mayor said that he anticipated problems in hotspot areas such as Solaris Mont Kiara, Bukit Damansara, Sri Petaling, Kepong, Taman Tun Dr Ismail among other commercial areas.
He added that if the MPs didn’t want the current operator handling the clamping of vehicles to continue, DBKL would have to review the contract in terms of compensation.
“It is not going to be so easy to cancel it,” he said referring to the legal aspects of the contract.
DBKL was asked to suspend the contract on the grounds that the local authority did not call for an open tender.
Earlier Lim, the Kepong MP, said the contract must be reviewed if it was awarded on unreasonable grounds.
He proposed that DBKL put on hold the collection of parking fees for the time being.
Vista Summerose managing director Datuk Nik Haidi Nik Mohamad said he was notified of the mayor’s decision (to suspend clamping) and would abide by it.
He said clamping was the only effective way for the public to respect the law.
“By suspending it, I anticipate haphazard parking, illegal parking near roundabouts, junctions, fire hydrants, OKU spots, and double parking cases to increase,” he said.
“Even though we have a quota to clamp 1,000 cars daily, in some occasions, we stop at 30 cars. This method puts fear in people not to break traffic rules and it is effective,” he said.
“We are targeting those that have outstanding compounds; people who have absolutely no respect for the law,” he said, adding that almost 70% of Kuala Lumpur motorists do not pay parking charges.
Out of the 250,000 cars (at different times) which park in the city every day, only 80,000 pay for parking.
The remaining 170,000 do not pay for parking.
“Parking is limited in the city and you have people who don’t pay. They are monopolising the parking bays and preventing law-abiding citizens from precious parking space and for me that is not right,” he said.
Star Metro had previously reported that parking dodgers in Kuala Lumpur owe DBKL more than RM10mil in unpaid parking summonses for various offences committed from Oct 1, 2015 up to March 31, 2016.
The highest amount racked up by an individual was RM2,700 for 14 traffic infringements committed in less than a year.
The serial offender broke traffic rules mostly in Bukit Damansara and Solaris Hartamas.
The figures do not include the whopping RM70mil in unpaid summonses racked up from 2008 to October 2015.
Star Online received feedback from netizens over the news with many saying that clamping was a good idea as it would curb haphazard parking.
Some argued that the issue was not about clamping, but merely a question as to why YWP was awarded the contract in the first place.
Weng Hong said: “Actually, for some of the areas, it is good to continue on (clamping), due to people simply parking their cars on the road side and making the whole area jammed.”
His views garnered 118 likes.
Sashi Kumar said: “KL drivers’ attitude is sickening. You can draw 20 layers of yellow line, fix 500 no waiting signage, they will still buat bodoh”.
Randy Hann wrote that KL has bigger problems. “I think the main problem is that there are too many cars. I think instead of clamping the car (which doesn’t solve the problem), make it a no-car zone, improve public transport. I think this is the only way to solve the problem,” he said.
Mohamad Fadzil Mustafa said: “No more clamping, but perhaps can increase frequency of towing the errant vehicle away. That way, DBKL can increase revenue rather than (collect) a measly RM50 per clamping.
MC Wong, however, asked to “continue with the clamping but reduce the parking rate”, saying that it’s too costly.
Clara Shanti said: “Continue with clamping ... Malaysians have this tidak apa attitude. They will continue to double park, obstruct other cars, and don’t even bother to say sorry. Some will even use vulgar words, despite knowing it’s their mistake. Some people need to be thought the hard way”.
K. Parkaran said: “Yes, it’s a silly move. Do they know the number of inconsiderate drivers we have in the city? This is a populist move that is not going to help congestion.”