I REFER to the report “Cops: Standing in a parking spot to ‘reserve’ it can cost you RM2,000 or even jail time” in The Star Online on Sept 21.
The day before, the Facebook page of the Royal Malaysia Police states that it is against the law to physically place oneself in a parking lot to prevent other vehicles from using it.
Anyone who attempts to “reserve” a parking spot can be fined up to RM2,000 or even sentenced to six months’ jail. Those who direct a driver to park or reserve a parking spot is deemed to have violated Section 50(3) of the Road Transport Act 1987.
If enforcement agencies such as the police and Road Transport Department had been actively enforcing this law, the public would have been made aware and less likely to reserve parking lots by occupying them.
If city hall or municipal council enforcement officers are not empowered to enforce this law, then the Act must be amended to include them, as they are often found patrolling the streets.
City hall and municipal councillors seem oblivious to traffic cones, used tyres, old chairs and other unsightly items that are placed on roadside parking lots to deny motorists from using them.
Tables and chairs are not only obstructing five-foot-ways, but at some food outlets, they have also been spread on sidewalks and even parking lots meant for cars.
Lack of enforcement has given the impression that city hall or municipal council officers are on the take.
In Kuala Lumpur, reserved lots are open for public use on Sundays and public holidays, but many businesses have prevented others from using by locking the metal pole installed at the centre.
If workshops for car repairs, tyre changes and accessory installations are allowed to operate in the city or town, they should be made to pay for all the parking lots fronting or surrounding their premises, as motorists attempting to park in any of these lots would be warned or chased away.
If hijackings of public spaces such as parking lots, sidewalks and five-foot-ways are allowed to continue, such open displays would reflect badly on the authorities, as they are perceived by the public as poor enforcement or corruption.