GEORGE TOWN (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A woman driver gave the mayor a piece of her mind after she was fined and her vehicle clamped for using a disabled person's parking space. She was with her wheelchair-bound mother.
Ooi Chee Lin, 40, faced off against Penang Island City Council's Datuk Maimunah Mohd Sharif at City Hall on Tuesday (Nov 22), asking her poignant questions about MBPP's (Penang Island City Council) strict enforcement.
"When those two officers saw my mother's condition, at least they could have said: 'Okay. Let me check with my boss'. Am I right? Correct or not?
"At least give a call to your boss. But they insisted we had to pay or they would not remove the clamp. What kind of attitude is this?" Ooi asked Maimunah in front of journalists.
Her mother was inside the vehicle.
This is allowed in Penang island, but her car did not have the disabled persons (OKU) sticker and neither did she display on her dashboard an OKU card from the state Social Welfare Department.
Two MBPP enforcers then clamped her wheel.
When she and her mother - who was in a wheelchair - returned, the enforcers refused to remove the clamp until she paid the fine.
Seeing this, a bank employee paid the fine for them.
A video of the exchange of words between Ooi and the enforcement officers subsequently went viral.
At City Hall, Maimunah explained to Ooi that the enforcers could not, at their level, nullify issued compounds.
"We will review the guidelines," she explained.
"When enforcers saw you pushing your mother in a wheelchair, there could be room for improvement, and your car could be unclamped without the need for payment.
"But, at the moment, the procedure is not like that."
Earlier, Ooi went to the Penang MCA Public Complaints and Services Bureau for help and bureau chief Ooi Teck Liang called for a press conference to relate her experience.
Ooi later told The Star that after meeting Maimunah, she obtained a doctor's report verifying that her mother, Teoh Ah Hon, 72, had lost the ability to walk as a result of Parkinson's disease.
"I am satisfied to have been able to give the mayor a piece of my mind," she said.
"If I don't voice out, others who are less educated might suffer the same fate and just put up with it. All I want is for council enforcers to apply common sense.
"They could see my frail mother in a wheelchair and for them to be blind to that was just wrong."