See a chair or rubbish bin being used to 'chup' a public parking lot? You can remove them, says DBKL –

You’ve undoubtedly seen it enough times – driving up to what you think is an empty public parking lot only to find a huge tong, plastic chair, flower pot or some other item smack in the middle of the space, placed there to “chup” the space. Illegal? Sure, but is there anything you can do about it?

Well, according to Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) enforcement folk, you can, by taking proactive action to remove the obstructive item to gain the spot, as The Star reports. Easier said than done, because most – if not all – wouldn’t want to risk an altercation with the party who put the item there, and so, the situation remains.

If you’re thinking that authorities should be the one taking action, well, they say they can’t do anything beyond removing the items. Unlike clear-cut traffic offences like double parking, obstruction or hogging, officers are unable to make the culprits pay for their action.

“We don’t know who put the items there, so we cannot issue a summons. During enforcement ops, those using old motorcycles, bicycles, scooters, flower pots, rubbish bins and chairs to reserve space won’t show their face or admit the objects belong to them. So we can only take the items away,” said a DBKL officer who did not want to be named.

However, if a member of the public sees such items being used to reserve a bay, the individual can remove them, he said. According to a DBKL spokesperson, the public can remove these items as public parking lots were not personal property, unless they were reserved or rented out by DBKL’s finance department to shop owners, and only then from 7.30am to 6pm on Monday to Saturday.

As you’d expect, DBKL’s suggestion for the public to remove the obstacles has not received positive response. Aside from the usual fear of repercussions, some questioned why DBKL was attempting to get the public to become vigilantes, with one person asking who would take responsibility should someone get hurt in the process.

Most said that regular enforcement is the way forward. “Enforcement is key. If authorities show their presence regularly, people will stop booking bays in such a manner,” said Salak South Garden Residents Association (SSGRA) chairman Paramasivam Govindasamy.

Those interviewed by the publication also suggested that city hall install intelligent closed-circuit television cameras in hotspots to nab culprits in the act, so that summonses can be issued. What do you think? How should authorities go about curbing such illegal activity, and should the public get involved?

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