Mayor puts a halt to wheel-clamping in KL


EXCLUSIVE: ALL clamping operations in Kuala Lumpur will be suspended indefinitely from next month. 

This is following a directive from Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Nor Hisham Ahmad Dahlan. 

DBKL sources told StarMetro that a meeting on the matter was held between DBKL executive director (planning) Datuk Mahadi Che Ngah and senior officers from the legal and finance departments as well as the parking operator.

This is the second time that DBKL wants to suspend clamping operations; the first instance was in May right after the general election this year following requests by Kuala Lumpur MPs.

However, the suspension was lifted in non-hotspot areas in the city.

“This time, however, there is no turning back as the directive is from the mayor himself,’’ said a DBKL source.

According to the source, the mayor made the decision after witnessing an altercation between a motorist and DBKL officers in Taman Tun Dr Ismail recently. 

Apparently, the motorist, whose car was clamped, was seen berating the officer incessantly and the mayor, who witnessed the incident, was embarrassed by it.

“The mayor said he felt he was the one being scolded by the resident, and the incident made DBKL look bad, so he decided to suspend clamping,” the source said.

When contacted, Mahadi did not deny or confirm the news, merely saying there was talk about it and it was not confirmed yet.

DBKL clamps an average of 915 vehicles per day and issues about 3,600 compound notices daily.

DBKL had outsourced its parking contract to Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan (YWP), which was then headed by Federal Territories Minister and Umno politician Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor.

YWP then privatised the enforcement of parking rules and wheel clamping to contractor Vista Summerose.

StarMetro contacted Vista Summerose managing director Datuk Nik Haidi Nik Mohamad, who confirmed that he had been notified of the mayor’s decision to suspend clamping via a meeting with Mahadi last week.

“Unfortunately, it is true and we are disappointed because we have a contract that clearly spells out that DBKL authorised us to clamp illegally parked vehicles,’’ he said.

“It is going to cost DBKL a lot (in compensation). I estimate it to be not less than RM80mil as we were given the authorisation to manage parking and clamping.

“We have invested a lot of money on the logistics alone,’’ Nik Haidi said.

He also expressed concern over the livelihood of his staff as it would mean at least 100 employees would be out of a job by next month.

Nik Haidi also predicted that traffic offences will increase in November once clamping is suspended. He feared the situation would be chaotic.

“Clamping was the most effective enforcement method in easing congestion in Kuala Lumpur and we have proven it countless times in the past,’’ he said.

Nik Haidi elaborated that every time his enforcement team went to a congested area, traffic cleared almost immediately.

“Honestly, clamping is the best enforcement method, better than issuing compound notices for traffic offences,’’ he said.

Nik Haidi added that DBKL has given out yearly traffic summonses discounts in the past with the longest being this year when the discount period was extended from Feb 1 in conjunction with Federal Territories Day up until June 30.

Despite the huge discounts offered in September (up to 70%), motorists still owed a staggering RM4mil in outstanding summonses to DBKL as of Sept 25.

After the offer was announced, DBKL managed to collect RM3.2mil between Sept 1 and Sept 25, from 104,646 summonses that were settled.

“Usually, there is a rush to pay in the first month but it will taper off and after that no one takes it seriously,’’ he said.

Nik Haidi added that up until last month, only RM8mil out of more than RM1bil worth of compound notices have been paid since 2010.

Star Metro had also reported that businessmen in some busy areas had complained about "rampant" wheel clamping in areas which sorely lacked parking. 

Businessman Daniel Foo in the Old Klang Road area had complained, “I have seen officers waiting around just to clamp the cars of those who park to run a quick errand, even though the vehicles were not blocking anyone.”

 

Central Region