THEY were once a mode of transportation, now transformed into habitats for plants, a rubbish bin for passers-by and worst of all a breeding sites for mosquitoes.
As the problem of abandoned vehicles widely persists in the capital city’s commercial and residential zones, Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) can only take action within the boundaries of legislation while the community waits for it to be nipped in the bud.
StarMetro checked Wangsa Maju, Bangsar, Brickfields, Segambut, Kepong, Cheras and Pudu and found abandoned cars in almost all these areas.
Discarded vehicles were found mostly in secluded parts of commercial and residential areas, while some were even left at DBKL’s parking spots.
Residents and business owners expressed frustration over abandoned cars hogging parking spaces, being an eyesore and unhygienic because it also a breeding ground for rats and mosquitoes.
Sri Petaling Residents’ Association (RA) chairman Tan Tai Tong said while there were fewer complaints of abandoned cars in the Sri Petaling commercial area, some cars were abandoned in residential area.
“It occupies parking spaces meant for the residents and it is also an eyesore.
“We also fear that the abandoned cars would become a breeding spot for mosquitoes,” he said, adding that DBKL should up their game in towing the vehicles away.
Bougainvillea Apartment resident JH Lim, 33, said three cars and a van were abandoned along Jalan Prima Pelangi 1 there.
“These vehicles were not moved for three years and the window of the van has been shattered, allowing passers-by to throw rubbish inside.
“The apartment does not have parking space for its tenants and these cars have taken valuable parking bays outside the apartment.
“If the owners do not want them, why don’t they just sell the car or sell for scrap metal?” he added.
Based on StarMetro’s observation, some of the abandoned cars in the city were still roadworthy, but those that were not, were in various state of disrepair, some with only its frame left.
Some vehicles were missing its number plates and tyres, while some that were abandoned for a long time were covered with leaves.
Stickers bearing contact information of buyers who were interested to buy the abandoned cars were also seen pasted on the window.
One of the damaged cars were found at Jalan 3, off Jalan 3/61, off Bukit Segambut.
All its doors were missing and rubbish was scattered inside.
Another car left in Bandar Menjalara along Jalan Medan Putra 2 did not have a hood and its engine was exposed.
In Jalan Gelang, Pudu, a van was seen covered with leaves and its dirty windscreen suggested that it was left there for some time.
A resident living in San Peng flat who wanted to be known as Wong, 45, said there were one or two cars abandoned near the flats but the van in Jalan Gelang has been there for more than a year.
“I frequent the food stalls along that road and seeing it just annoys me. Parking is a problem here as the road is narrow, the parking spot taken by the van can be used for the food stall’s customers.
“Although it does not affect me much, it is a nuisance to nearby residents and business owners,” he said.
Meanwhile, broken down, flat-tired and grubby vehicles ranging from luxury cars to the common kap chai motorcycles were seen discarded in Bangsar, including Kampung Kerinchi and Bangsar South.
A check at Jalan Pantai Permai, Pantai Dalam, within the vicinity of Kampung Kerinchi showed public parking spots used as car sales lots, with names and contact numbers tacked onto a number of vehicles for sale.
Bukit Bandaraya on the other hand was plagued by the issue in the nooks of the housing areas as well as commercial areas.
“We can safely assume that vehicles without their road tax displayed have been abandoned and there are many of them along the roadside, occupying parking lots in commercial zones as well,” said Bukit Bandaraya RA adviser Datuk M. Ali.
“DBKL enforcement officers or the police are expected to be alert and diligent, but why are they not observing such issues?” he said, also questioning the officers’ attentiveness when patrolling the area.
“They should make random checks on vehicles parked on public roads and whether the road tax discs displayed are valid,” he added.
Bangsar Baru resident Prem Kumar Nair said the community worked closely with DBKL Lembah Pantai and their response time was within two to three days.
“The issue is more common in housing areas and especially near Jalan Telawi 6 and Jalan Terasek.
“Some cars belonging to residents have the wheels stuck into the tar when the road was resurfaced. This shows that the abandoned car was there for years but we cannot take action against it,” he said.
Abandoned cars in Brickfields are found mostly in Jalan Berhala, Jalan Scott, Jalan Tebing and Jalan Ang Seng.
Brickfields Rukun Tetangga chairman S.K.K. Naidu said residents should report such vehicles to DBKL.
“Through the formation of the Local Agenda 21 Brickfields, many agendas from infrastructure to security have been addressed swiftly and successfully. .
“After several complaints from residents, DBKL has removed most of the abandoned cars in the Brickfields neighbourhood but it took about two to three months.
“One of the issues they seem to face is a lack of tow trucks and enforcement officers – residential areas are not covered by enforcement officers so they only respond when an official complaint is made,” he said, suggesting that DBKL outsource the job as a solution to this.
Read about DBKL’s challenges in addressing the abandoned vehicles problem in StarMetro tomorrow.