Auto accessories traders protest against RM400 monthly parking fees

PETALING JAYA: The Automotive Accessories Traders Association of Malaysia is unhappy with a recent policy implemented by the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ), which requires them to pay parking fees in an industrial area previously exempt from such charges.

According to association president Cherrie Lim Bee Choo, parking in areas like Taman Petaling has historically been free.

However, earlier this year, business owners received notices from the city council asking for an annual payment of RM4,800, equivalent to RM400 per month.

“These sudden charges are unreasonable and absurd, particularly considering that industrial areas, unlike commercial centres, do not face significant traffic congestion and have ample parking space available,’’ Lim said.

“Our members have been given notices to pay the fee, without any prior engagement with stakeholders,’’ she added.

“We are not happy because the parking fee, now tied to the business and premise licences, must be paid annually during renewal,” Lim said, adding that it was an additional burden to members already struggling to sustain their businesses.

R. Rama, who operates a car service centre in Taman Petaling, noted that the new rates for industrial areas are disproportionately high compared to other areas in Petaling Jaya.

“There are no cafes, restaurants, clinics, or banks here, so why should we be subjected to commercial rates? Parking spaces are plentiful here,” he pointed out.

Anne Kong, another member, highlighted the significant disparity in rates, pointing out that the hourly rate in other areas of Petaling Jaya is only 60 sen per hour, making the current charges unacceptable.

To express their dissatisfaction, members organised a peaceful protest at Jalan PJS 1/30, Taman Petaling Utama today, displaying banners and placards to voice their grievances with MBPJ.

Petaling Jaya MCA division chief Chew Hian Tat who was present at the site, said: “The business owners simply want an explanation or, at the very least, engagement session with the authorities, which is a reasonable request.

“Since they have received no response, they have sought our assistance. In my view, the charges are unjustifiable, and I am eager to learn the council’s rationale behind the RM400 per month fee. It’s a bad policy," Chew added.

When contacted, Petaling Jaya MP Lee Chean Chung stated, “I have facilitated a reduction in payments to quarterly intervals and have also raised this matter with the mayor during my recent courtesy call.

“I hope the council can propose alternative solutions," he said. StarMetro also reached out to MBPJ corporate communications department spokesman for comments, but at press time no response was forthcoming.
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