Those damn illegal parkers
Writer: Patrick Teoh
Published: Fri, 18 May 2012
By the time you sit down to read this, the memories of Bersih 3.0 would be more than two weeks old. But I’ll bet that people will still be talking about the rally. Exchanging experiences. Telling some tall tales.
So the temptation to write this month’s column around Bersih 3.0 was tempting. But I resisted and so I am not going to write anything Bersih after this line.
Which is not say that I will be writing pornography. Bersih = clean, right. So “not going to write anything bersih” could give you the wrong idea. Ooops! Sorry I got one Bersih in there when I said I would not. Damn! That’s two now.
This month I am going to write about how lay people, meaning people who are not politicians or bureaucrats, think they have very simple solutions for what the other flers mentioned earlier consider insurmountable problems.
So we all don’t know the complex laws and local council regulations that govern a whole host of things. But let’s take a couple of everyday problems that we all face. And which to us simple folks appear to be so simple to solve.
Wait…wait…wait…of course I am writing about Selangor la. I live here ma. But I think could work in other places too. Okay?
First, parking meters. They cost money to buy and install. They cost money to maintain. They cost money to employ people to go around emptying the collections. They upset people because it is inconvenient to use.
You know how it works don’t you? Find a parking space. By which time you’re already quite pissed off. Find a parking coupon machine. Hope that you have enough coins to feed the machine because it does not accept notes.
Walk back to your car to put the coupon in.
So how to solve this problem and make life easier for everybody? Bring back the good old reliable parking coupon books. I never knew why that coupon book system was dismantled except perhaps that it was done so that some new system would be able to line some bureaucrats’ pockets.
Think about it. The parking coupon booklet was perfect. If it wasn’t, those Singaporean flers would have installed parking machines too. But they know better. They always do. Don’t they?
Anyway, back to what I was saying. The parking coupon books. Perfect. You (the state) get money in advance. It doesn’t matter if all the coupons in the books are used. You’ve got the money already. And that’s always good business. You create business opportunities for many other citizens who sell the parking coupons. Convenience stores. Kedai runcit. The mak cik nasi lemak stand. And instead of an army of maintenance and policing staff all you need to employ is a handful of flers on bicycles to go round and check on cars using the coupons.
And of course you will transparently tender out the contracts to print the parking coupons. So some printing businesses in the state will get extra income. Everybody happy. System works. Kao tim!
So why is it not being done? Dunno. Maybe there are some things that we lay people don’t know.
The other problem I think we can solve easily is illegal parking. We’ve lived with this problem for as long as I can remember.
And I am sure that you, like me, have contributed to the problem at one time or another.
Why do Malaysians love to park where they are not supposed to? Is it because they don’t like to walk the extra 20 metres to their destination? Is it because we are so spoilt that we would actually want to park our cars right next to the mamak stall table for our breakfast of roti canai?
I think it is simply because we CAN! Let’s see you match that Singapore! Ha!
Sorry I digressed a little bit there. How to solve the problem of illegal parking? Easy la. And at the same time can create new business opportunities too. How?
Okay, what happens today? Illegal parkers. Police or local council flers come once in a while to issue summons.
Illegal parkers tear these up and throw away to wait for the discount period to be announced. Right?
In other words nobody gives a damn. No worry ma. And so in the meantime left-hand lanes of major highways become parking lanes. Community roads are choked by vehicles double-parked and most times even triple-parked.
Handicapped parking bays are occupied by gas-delivery vans or mentally-challenged drivers. You get the picture.
How to solve? Very easy la.
Selangor got a lot of land, right? So we go lease a piece of land. Say big enough to park 200-300 cars or more. We call for tender and appoint a whole bunch of tow-truck operators. We train a team of state government parking officers.
Then they go around together on patrol. Any illegally-parked vehicles get towed away to the pound. This goes on every day not just when the moon turns blue which seems to be the system now. Think about it. Everybody happy.
The state government gets extra revenue, compound fines and whatnot, for very little outlay. Tow-truck flers get regular business without waiting for accidents to happen. Citizens get properly-managed parking system. Kao tim.
This is the perfect way of alleviating the problem of illegal parking. And later we can sell the system as a franchise to those Federal flers so that KLIA, KL Sentral and LCCT don’t have to look like 3rd World.
So why nobody think of doing it this way? Maybe there are some laws we lay people don’t know about la.
Eh? What’s that honking? I think that fler wants to reverse his car out.
Sorry I was double-parked. Got to go now. See you next month.