Young couple's date in park turns sour


BY DALILAH IBRAHIM

SEEING RED: Siow (left) and Ooi showing thesummonses they received at the KLCC Park.

KUALA LUMPUR: A young couple’s date at the KLCC Park here turned out to be an unpleasant experience when they were slapped with summonses by City Hall for behaving “indecently.” 

Temporary teacher Ooi Kean Thong, 23, and college student Siow Ai Wei, 20, alleged that they were issued the summonses after they refused to “pay” the City Hall enforcement officers. 

The summonses, which were issued under Section 8(9) of the Park Bylaws 1981, stated that the couple were behaving indecently, hugging and kissing at a public site at 5.20pm last Saturday. 

“We were sitting next to each other and talking when two officers approached us to ask for our identity cards. They then told us that hugging was not allowed at the park. 

“We denied doing so but they told us that they had to issue the summonses,” said Ooi, who together with Siow, went to MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head Michael Chong to relate their plight yesterday. 

Ooi alleged that the officers told them that the summonses would involve between RM300 and RM500, and that the officers purportedly “offered” to help them settle the summonses at a reduced rate as they had a friend who could assist. 

After much pleading, Ooi said that the officers agreed to lower the amount to RM50 but only wrote his name and identity card number on a piece of white paper. 

Ooi said he then called his brother, who advised him to take the summonses instead. 

“When I told the officers that we wanted the summonses, they warned us that they would be sent to our houses and colleges and that we could be suspended,” he claimed. 

Chong said he had sought the help of the party’s legal adviser, Theng Book, to look into the legal aspects of the case, adding that he would also meet the mayor over the matter. 

City Hall has not issued summonses on the subject of indecency for years, CHOW HOW BAN reported Datuk Bandar Datuk Mohmad Shaid Mohd Taufek as saying. 

“The director of the enforcement department had checked the office where such summonses were recorded and there were no summonses issued for indecency,” he said yesterday. 

“Someone was most probably impersonating our officers. Anyway, I’m going to check again on Monday.”  

He said although there was a by-law allowing enforcement officers to take action against those who behaved indecently at parks, they had been ordered not to do so because of fears of power abuse. 

Mohmad Shaid said the enforcement officers’ main function when patrolling public places was to ensure there were no acts of vandalism. 

However, he said City Hall would take stern action against enforcement officers who intimidated and extorted money from the couple, adding that he would send his officers to public areas in the capital to check if there were any individual impersonating City Hall officers. 

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