Clamping suspension shelved, instead DBKL to take over from contractor

EXCLUSIVE: Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) will be taking over clamping operations from their appointed contractor Vista Summerose Sdn Bhd effective Nov 1.

Mayor Datuk Nor Hisham Ahmad Dahlan said his legal department would be reviewing the contract and studying the legality of the action. 

“But in the meantime, our enforcement team will take over clamping operations in the city using our own SOP (standard operating procedure) and by-laws," Nor Hisham said. 

This latest development follows yesterday's report in Star Metro that clamping operations in Kuala Lumpur would be suspended indefinitely from November after a directive issued by the mayor's office. Now, the mayor appears to have changed his mind about suspending clamping indefinitely. 

When asked why DBKL was taking over the job, Nor Hisham said: “They (parking operators) are too aggressive and were unreasonable." 

“They have a KPI of 1,000 (cars to clam) per day, and sometimes they are too aggressive when fulfilling that number," he said.

When asked to explain what he meant by aggressive, the mayor said: “Sometimes people park for just a few minutes, and they will clamp the car," he said.

“And there were complaints that people had to wait more than one hour to get their cars released.

 "We are very uneasy about these complaints, so we will review (contract) and take over for now,’’ he said. 

When asked what would be a reasonable grace period to allow people who have illegally parked to not be compounded, the mayor said: “Fifteen minutes. We will give them a maximum of 15 minutes before we take action," he said.     

The clamping issue stretches back to May this year. Following requests by Kuala Lumpur MPs, clamping was suspended for a few days that month. 

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

When contacted, Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng said he agreed with the mayor’s decision for DBKL to take over clamping operations, saying that parking should never have been privatised in the first place. 

“While I agree that clamping is effective to curb congestion, the way Vista Summerose is doing it was wrong,’’ he said. 

“They were not following the SOP properly, and sufficient warning and time were not given to motorists,’’ he added.

When contacted, Vista Summerose managing director Datuk Nik Haidi Nik Mohamad said he followed the SOP that was prepared, issued and approved by DBKL.

“We were accused for being a crony company to the previous government, but the truth is we have been in the parking business since the 1980s during the late Tan  Sri Elyas Omar’s (KL's 3rd mayor) time and have worked in 34 cities nationwide," he said.

“Based on our data, every day there are about 70% of traffic dodgers in the city that don’t pay parking charges. 

“That is equivalent to 150,000 to 200,000 cars that are monopolising parking bays and depriving others from using it," he said.  

“So the way we see it, we are educating 200,000 motorists by clamping the cars of 1,000 traffic violators,’’ he said.

According to Nik Haidi, up until last month, only RM8mil out of RM1bil's worth of compound notices has been paid since 2010. 

About 915 vehicles are clamped per day with 3,600 compound notices issued daily.    

DBKL's parking contract was outsourced to Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan (YWP), which at the time then headed by then Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor. YWP then privatised the enforcement of parking rules and wheel clamping to contractor Vista Summerose in September 2016. 

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