‘Licensed to collect parking fees at lane’

The 100m lane off Jalan Sultan Ismail where a private operator collects fees ranging from RM10 to RM25 from motorists who park there from 4pm to 2am.

KUALA LUMPUR: A private operator claims she has a valid licence to collect parking charges. This comes after a video that alleged an attendant scratched a vehicle when its owner refused to pay the RM15 fee, went viral.

Zaharah Abd Aziz, 59, said she had obtained a licence through Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s (DBKL) e-licencing portal to operate parking services along the 100m lane beside a bank in Bukit Bintang three months ago.

“I pay a yearly fee of RM1,300 through a runner,” said Zaharah.

The mother of five said she had applied for the licence under Dinamik Global Resources, which is registered with Companies Commission of Malaysia.

Zaharah’s lawyer Muhammad Faiz Syukri, 31, said they were planning to take legal action against those responsible for uploading and spreading the video that accused the company of being parking touts.

“Their action has sullied my name and put my life in danger.

“From the comments, I am being called a parking tout and someone has even threatened physical harm,” said Zaharah.

Meanwhile, visitors and other business operators in the area expressed their dissatisfaction over the private parking operator’s presence.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, residents said they were not comfortable with the parking operator’s charges.

Though Zaharah insisted that charges were in keeping with the area’s market rate, visitors and residents said the fees were inconsistent.

They claimed there was no signage to inform motorists of the fee structure.

One hotel in the area had even displayed a sign outside its premises stating that it had not authorised anyone to collect parking charges on its behalf.

Most residents said that even if Zaharah had a licence, there were fewer than 10 parking spots available in the narrow lane.

“To maximise space, visitors are asked to park at an angle.

“They are also directed to park on the yellow lines,” said one resident.

Those who complained were also unhappy that the parking operator had occupied one bay on a permanent basis with a vehicle that doubled as a storeroom.

Zaharah said her operations were from 4pm to 2am daily but she was licensed to manage the space available in the lane all day and night.

As for the parking charges, she said it was RM10 for an hour, RM15 for more than 90 minutes and up to RM25 for a whole day if they were guests at one of the hotels in the area.

In contrast, DBKL’s parking charges for the Bukit Bintang area are RM1.50 for one hour or part thereof and RM2 for the second hour. Parking is limited to two hours.

Prior to this, Vista Summerose managed the city’s parking system in partnership with Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan (YWP) until September 2020.

Vista Summerose managing director Datuk Nik Haidi Nik Mohamad said conflicts over parking could be avoided if more people chose to use public transport.

“About five years ago, we estimated that up to four million vehicles were entering the city on a daily basis.

“The problem is that there are only 60,000 on-street and another 250,000 off-street parking bays available.

“As it is, up to 80% are single occupancy vehicles,” he added.

Following the viral post, which attracted the attention of Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Federal Territories) Dr Zaliha Mustafa, DBKL issued a statement saying there were 11 licensed car jockey parking facilities in Kuala Lumpur.

As for the lane off Jalan Sultan Ismail, DBKL said it was under the local authority’s control and the usual parking charges for Bukit Bintang were applicable during office hours until 5pm.

However, DBKL clarified that it had contracted a private company to manage the eight parking spaces in this lane for valet service after office hours.

When contacted, DBKL said it was compiling a list of the areas where it had contracted private operators and would release it to the media soon.  — GRACE CHEN
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