Guidelines for private car parks

THE Penang Municipal Council (MPPP) may introduce guidelines for private car park operators in the wake of the controversy surrounding the chaining up of car wheels for unauthorised parking.

MPPP financial management sub-committee alternate chairman Tan Hun Wooi said they were studying the possibility of drafting the do?s and don?ts for such operators.

He said the council currently did not have specific regulations for private car parks apart from ensuring they were suitable as parking lots and had closed-circuit televisions (CCTVs).

?There are also no conditions in their licences that they can or cannot clamp people?s cars,? he said when contacted yesterday.

Tan was responding to the StarMetro North story titled ?Bitter pill to swallow after dinner? on Saturday where three people who parked their cars at a private food court parking lot without dining there found their vehicles chained up by the proprietor.

The trio had to pay RM100 which the owner demanded to remove the chains during the incident in Tanjung Tokong last Sunday.

The car owners claimed it was too dark to see the posters and banners which state that those who failed to patronise the food court but parked their cars at the parking bays would have their cars chained up.

The same day, StarMetro Mail also published a letter by a reader XINZ who was upset over the RM50 parking fee he had to pay at the same food court car park for dining at another restaurant.

National Consumer Complaints Centre senior manager M. Matheevani said the property owner had the right to impose the charges on the vehicle owners but chaining their cars was a ?harsh action?.

?The property belongs to the operator and he can set the parking procedures and standard fees but it did not justify chaining the cars,? she said.

Penang Consumer Protection Association president K. Koris echoed similar views, saying the proprietor had the right to impose the charges as it was his property.

?It is justified for him to ask for RM50 parking fee. He can even ask for RM300!,? he said.

Koris said the proprietor had put up banners saying those who did not dine there would be fined.

?It is also principally wrong to park at a car park of a private food court but not dine there,? he added.

Penang Ratepayers Association chairman Datuk Eddy Choong said he personally felt that chaining the cars was ?too harsh?.

?It is justified to ask for the RM50 parking charges for not dining there but there?s no need to chain up the cars,? he added.

SOURCE: The Star

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