Johor residents who work in Singapore hog free parking space near checkpoint

Some business owners in Jalan Storey, Johor Bahru, are using trash bins to stop drivers from parking in front of their premises for days on end. PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

JOHOR BAHRU - “Is this your grandfather’s road?”

That’s the question posed to Ahmad (not his real name) every time he blocks the parking space in front of his shop in Jalan Storey, Johor Baru.

He said he had no choice but to resort to placing a rubbish bin there to prevent others from taking up the space.

Located in the residential area of Kim Teng Park, Jalan Storey is a favourite spot among motorists who want to park for free before travelling to Singapore for work.

Kim Teng Park is within walking distance to the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Complex (CIQ) in Bangunan Sultan Iskandar.

“They want to work in a developed country but leave us to deal with their third-world mentality,” said Ahmad.

“If I do not block the space, then how will the bread, ice and other vehicles load and unload goods for my store?

“I have to book this space every morning by placing a rubbish bin so that they won’t park here.

“But even then some would try to remove it,” he said, adding that he gets into heated arguments with such motorists almost every day.

Sharing the same experience is restaurant manager Subra (not his real name), who said those who park their vehicles there for the whole day do not bother about the inconvenience caused.

“Some of the vehicles have been parked here for more than 10 days.

“Imagine when they park in front of restaurants.

“They do not care as they just want to park here for free,” said Subra, adding that he has been forced to place four plastic chairs in front of his restaurant.

StarMetro highlighted this issue in its report last June, citing complaints from residents and business owners. Some cars were parked on the road outside residents’ homes. Others were parked in front of restaurants for days, inconveniencing customers who drove there.

Kim Teng Park Residents Association president Danial Lokman Hakim is calling for action from Johor Baru City Council (MBJB).

He wants them to either tow the cars away or impose a hefty fine on non-residents misusing the parking space as a long-term carpark.

“MBJB has every right to tow away these cars. Why aren’t they enforcing the law? Do they lack manpower, towing vehicles or storage space? The council building is not even a kilometer away.

“The situation is worsening day by day, especially after the pandemic,” he said.

“There’s even an MPV parked here that is used to ferry those working in Singapore. It charges a fee to carry passengers but is parked here for free.”

Asked to comment on MBJB’s move to fine shop owners who place traffic cones, chairs, rubbish bins and other items in front of their shops to stop people from parking there, he said the city council should focus on the root cause.

“They should find a solution for this before going after shopowners.

“I don’t think these shopowners would put up obstructions if people were not misusing the parking space,” he said.

Also calling for MBJB to step up their enforcement is retiree Wong Lee Fei.

She said some motorists have even removed flower pots placed in front of residential houses to park their cars.

“I do not blame the shopkeepers for placing items in front of their shops to stop people from parking as they too have to earn a living.

“This has been happening for a long time. MBJB should impose tougher penalties like towing away their cars,” said Ms Wong, who has been living in Kim Teng Park for 36 years.

Another resident, Mr Vincent D’Silva, 60, said: “Enough is enough; the council should walk the talk (and take action).

“I have lodged two reports on this matter in June last year and January this year.

“But until now no action has been taken by MBJB,” he said. “I’m a resident here but even I can’t find parking space.” THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

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