Have you ever found an array of empty parking spots at night in crowded areas, such as Bukit Bintang or Uptown? You would only realize the reason for the vast vacancy after you have parked because a lurking uncle would emerge out of nowhere and ask for a parking fee that normally ranges from RM5 to about RM20.
Irritated by the scarcity of parking spots and out of sympathy for the uncle, most of us would pay the fee and get on with our lives. But did you know these parking fee collectors actually don’t have the right to ask money from you?
On Friday (Oct 5), Road Transport Department of Malaysia (JPJ) took to Facebook and Twitter to set the record straight. Describing the rampant phenomenon as “ulat parking” (parking touts), JPJ said the act is a punishable offence under Section 50(3) of the Road Transport Act 1987.
This activity is unlawful and if convicted, the tout can be sentenced to imprisonment of up to 6 months or a fine of RM2,000 or both.
The law stipulated that, “if any person, otherwise than with lawful authority, remains on any road or at any parking place for the purpose of importuning any other person in respect of the watching or cleaning of a motor, vehicle, or for the purpose of directing any driver of a motor vehicle in respect of parking on such road or at such place, he shall be guilty of an offence.”
In other words, if you are harassed by someone over your parking, that person has already committed a crime.
JPJ hoped that with this information, the department could eradicate the “ulat parking” prevalence with the help of the members of the public. Rakyat is urged to report such an encounter to the Royal Police or the local council so that enforcement and monitoring actions can be carried out.
“When people know their rights, these offenders will be afraid of legal action,” JPJ said in its social media posts.
Some netizens found the post unhelpful because they worry that if they don’t pay, those individuals would damage their vehicles.
“If I don’t pay him RM2, he (then) scratches my car. How? No DBKL/JPJ officer nearby most of the time to solve the issue,” one netizen lamented.
“JPJ has to take the matters to their hand and run an operation. Don’t just hope that the citizens would lodge official reports. If you already know one area has “ulat parking”, then run an (eradication) operation,” another added.
What are your thoughts on this issue? Have you faced this phenomenon as well? Let us know in the comments below.