Road reserve becomes open air Penampang showroom
Published on: Thursday, August 04, 2022
By: Sidney Skinner
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The Council’s officers check the documents on a dashboard for one of the vehicles in a bid to try and gauge who the owner might be.
A Penampang used-car dealer risks having to settle a fine of up to RM20,000 if he/ she keeps placing his/ her automobiles along the road shoulder near his/ her premises.

A District Council spokesman said this action could be taken under the Uniform (Anti-litter) Bylaws 2010.

“Alternatively, the individual may also have to serve a jail-term of up to one year, if legal action is initiated and he/ she is found guilty,” he said.

“In the worst-case scenario, both penalties could be enacted against the operator by the magistrate.” 

He said the agency generally resorted to compounding the wrongdoer, if its initial warnings went unheeded.

“Our enforcement officers can issue compounds for as much as RM500 in such instances.

“Hard headed offenders will be taken to court, should the problems persist after this.”

The spokesman was responding to a Penampang motorist’s observations about the numerous cars double-parked along a section of Jalan Pintas-Donggongon, just before the roundabout with the Sigah monument.

The Council’s staff confirming the presence of the cars which have been left on the verge near the Sigah roundabout.

AMOS was under the impression that the vehicles might belong to some shop-operator in the area. 

“I suspect that the individual could have turned the road-shoulder into a make-shift showroom to display his/ her vehicles as he/ she does not have enough room to do so inside his/ her compound,” he said.

Amos wanted to know whether the proprietor had received the Council’s permission to make use of the verge in this manner.

He provided Hotline with the time and date, when he noticed this, which were forwarded to the agency.

The spokesman thanked the driver for his feedback, saying that its enforcement team had gone to the area a day earlier.

“They found a fleet of second-hand cars, with Peninsula registration plates, parked along the road,” he said.

“By the time we were contacted by the media, we had managed to trace the owner of the automobiles.

“The local transporter – engaged to move the vehicles from the port – had apparently unloaded them on the road reserve, instead of at the dealer’s premises.”

He said one of the Council’s officers learned this from the dealer’s staff.

“We made this employee aware that the cars were illegally occupying government land and asked him to get his boss to move them into the shop’s compound.

“Our staff returned a day later to find that the dealer had complied with this instruction.”

The spokesman said its enforcement team was especially vigilant about vehicles which had been illegally left in the common areas around Penampang, as the Council had been wrestling with a spate of unwanted automobiles, dumped in different parts of the district.

“Between January and June, we received a total of 612 complaints about such abandoned vehicles.

“Over 200 notices have been issue to the owners, asking them to remove their property from the reserves under our jurisdiction.”

He said the agency had towed away more than 106 abandoned cars so far.

“We are still waiting on the Road Transport and Police Departments to get back to us with the relevant information, before moving in to deal with the remaining automobiles.”

He said the former provided the Council with the owner’s particulars while the latter had to confirm whether these abandoned vehicles had been used in any criminal activities.

“It has proven difficult to crackdown on the number of illegal garbage dumps, involving such automobiles, which are springing up around Penampang.

The spokesman said the agency had identified the public spaces around Suria apartments, as well as the Koidupan and Majukota areas, as being “hot spots” for car-dumping.

“We view this problem seriously as these vehicles are an eye-sore.

“More importantly, however, any unwanted cars and lorries could become a potential breeding grounds for aedes mosquitoes.”

The Council hired a mobile crane-operator to remove a car from an open space in Millennium Heights recently, according to him.

“Three notices were given to owner between December 2021 and May but he/ she refused to comply with our instruction.”

He said vehicle-owners would have to settle a compound under the Anti-litter Bylaws, as well as the towing charge and impound fee, before their property could be returned to them.

“They have 30 days to do this. Any vehicles which remain after this are then disposed off.” 

When asked how the Council got rid of these automobiles, the spokesman declined to comment.

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