SEVERAL Kuala Lumpur MPs are against the decision by Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s (DBKL) to increase parking rates in the city.
Setiawangsa MP Datuk Ahmad Fauzi Zahari said only places with easy access to public transportation should have the parking rates increased.
“If there are train stations nearby then it is logical to increase the parking charges to encourage more people to leave their vehicles behind.
“While I agree that it is about time to increase the fares, city folk should have been given more time to prepare,” he said.
Federal Territories MCA chief Datuk Yew Teong Look said other modes of public transportation should be expedited.
“The hike should not affect the businesses of city folk or cause inconvenience to people heading into the city centre” he said.
Meanwhile, several Kuala Lumpur MPs have called for a moratorium on the hike in parking charges.
Speaking after a meeting with Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Seri Amin Nordin Abdul Aziz yesterday morning, the MPs said a town hall session should be conducted with relevant transport authorities.
Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar said the session should detail Kuala Lumpur’s transport master plan.
“None of the Kuala Lumpur MPs were informed of the decision to increase the rates.
“There was also no consultation with stakeholders or public feedback conducted.
“Considering that even LRT and taxi fares have been increased, this is not consistent with the suggestion by DBKL to use public transportation as an alternative.
“We have more than 10 different agencies dealing with land public transportation and they should outline the future transportation plans for the city,” she said.
Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng said places like Desa Hartamas and Taman Tun Dr Ismail should not be considered as central business district (CBD).
“These areas do not have adequate public transportation while the MRT will only start next year.
“How are people supposed to use alternative transport when the infrastructure is not in place,” he said.
Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai said there was insufficient connectivity in Kuala Lumpur to warrant the hike in parking rates.
“DBKL cannot blame commuters for driving into the city or the high volume of single occupant vehicles because entering and leaving the city via public transportation was difficult.
“As long as MRT1 is not in place and MRT2 will not be completed by 2021, and other modes of public transport are far below satisfaction, the hike should be put on hold,” he said.
He added people were spending a large portion of their income to buy cars not for luxury but out of necessity.
“With the rising cost of living and high inflation, people are suffering and DBKL is not helping the people by increasing the parking charges.
Wangsa Maju MP Dr Tan Kee Kwong said he was worried that private car park operators may increase their fares too.
Also present at the press conference were Seputeh MP Teresa Kok, Batu MP Tian Chua, Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lun, Kepong MP Dr Tan Seng Giaw as well as Federal Territories Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) chairman Dr Mohd Hatta Ramli.
On whether the rate of increase would be reviewed, Amin Nordin said the decision was made by Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor.
“The old price of 80sen was made 40 years ago.
“By right, based on current value the parking rates should be around RM5 per hour.
“Even if we raise the prices by RM1, it is still considered cheap and would not do anything to deter vehicles coming into the city,” said Amin Nordin.
He once again stressed that Kuala Lumpur has one of the cheapest parking rates compared to most Asian countries.
He reiterated that the hike was also to deter people from “hogging” council parking bays the whole day and deprive others of the space.
On the request by MPs to hold a town hall meeting on the matter, Amin Nordin said that was beyond his control.
“DBKL is the third-tier government. SPAD is under the Transport Ministry, they can call us for meetings but not the other way around.
“The policy for public transport falls under their jurisdiction, while parking comes under the local councils,” he said.
Effective July 18, parking rates were increased from the usual 80sen per hour to RM2 for the first hour, and RM3 for subsequent hours.
The CBD areas in Kuala Lumpur are Bangsar, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Bukit Bintang, Bukit Damansara, Sri Hartamas, Desa Hartamas and Solaris Mont Kiara.
StarMetro front-paged the report that parking fees in the CBD would be increased by up to 150% to help free up parking spaces, encourage people to use public transportation and to carpool to ease traffic congestion in the city.