Friday, June 27, 2008

Blitz on illegal jaga kereta boys - The Star

Jun 26, 2008 By CHRISTINA KOH

THE Perak Government is coming down hard on illegal car park attendants who have been a bane to the people of Ipoh.

State Education, Local Government, Housing and Public Transport Committee chairman Nga Kor Ming said there were just too many illegal parking attendants in the city causing tourists to complain of feeling unsafe in the streets.

These attendants, he said, had become aggressive and even resorted to scratching parked vehicles and puncturing tyres if their owners did not pay up.

He added that there were even cases of children being manipulated into acting as attendants to earn money for “syndicates”.

Long-standing problem: Illegal car park attendants being rounded up by enforcement officers at Gerbang Malam, Ipoh.

“We want to send a very strong signal to these illegal car park attendants that we have zero tolerance towards this kind of thing.

“This is a problem that has been going on for a long time. It’s intolerable,” Nga told reporters after leading an operation against the attendants in parts of Ipoh on Sunday night.

The operation, carried out with Ipoh city council secretary Roshidi Hashim, Tebing Ting-gi assemblyman Ong Boon Piow, and various enforcement officers and two policemen, netted 14 offenders while the rest fled.

Nga warned repeat offenders still at large that they had only a week’s grace period before the authorities threw the book at them.

“If things don’t change, we will jail or fine them in court if the law allows. If they test positive for drugs, we will send them for rehabilitation or charge them under the Dangerous Drugs Act,” he said.

Presently, those detained usually spent a night in police lockup before they were either released by a magistrate or sent for drug rehabilitation or to a welfare home.

Roshidi, whose car tyres were once slashed by an illegal car park attendant in the Medan Ipoh area a year ago, estimated that Ipoh had at least 50 illegal parking attendants.

“Some are drug addicts, some are beggars. Once, we even came across a husband and wife doing the same job,” he said.

The Sunday crackdown was the fifth such operation since the first one in February.

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