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Published: Saturday February 2, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Saturday April 20, 2013 MYT 3:42:33 PM

Police get tough on illegal Padang Merdeka parking

KUCHING: The police is expected to issue summonses to all illegally parked vehicles in and around Padang Merdeka beginning next month.

Since yesterday, the shopping mall’s security personnel have begun placing notices on illegally parked cars and motorcycles at the area, warning of the more stringent enforcement action to come.

The shopping mall’s management is coordinating the effort to tidy up the historic field along with the Kuching Resident’s office and the Kuching North City Commission.

Since the mall opened in late November, illegal parking has been a persistent problem.

The notices being distributed this month highlights three alternative parking destinations.

Aside from the mall’s 800-car parking bays, the notices highlight two other free parking venues for motorcycles which are being readied.

“We know we can’t just tell people to get off the Padang with no alternatives,” Plaza Merdeka Management Sdn Bhd managing director Steve Ng told The Star this week. "What we are doing is that we will sponsor about RM5,000 to install rails at new areas for motorcyclists to park their vehicles safely.”

The first location is an existing under-utilised parking space between the Kuching Resident’s Office and CIMB Bank. The other location for the motorcyclists is in front of the police station.

“This space for motorcyclists will replace the police’s carpark,” Ng said. “All the railings that will be installed are similar to the ones at the Kuching Waterfront, opposite the Waterfront Lodge.”

Ng said with the railings and closeness to the police station, motorcycle theft should not be a concern.

“I think that is a fair arrangement. With the rails installed, they can lock their motorcycles. After the rails are installed, and people still decide to illegally park at Padang Merdeka, well, then the police will book them.”

Plaza Merdeka opened on Nov 29 last year. It is one of several new malls to have opened in Sarawak last year.

The shopping mall is located in the historic quarter of the state capital, adjacent to the centuries-old Old Court House, General Post Office and Padang Merdeka, one of the sites for the declaration of Malaysia was read out almost 50 years ago.

The Padang is a prominent feature of Kuching’s landscape and cultural heritage, also nearby the Sarawak Museum and Warrior’s Monument.

Tags / Keywords: Community, News, Family Community, Plaza Merdeka, Padang Merdeka, Steve Ng, illegal parking

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