Yes, the question is where in Malaysia or in the world you have to pay parking charges/fees on public roads well after normal working hours, till midnight, even on Sundays and public holidays?

The answer is in certain commercial and tourist areas in Penang, fondly called the Pearl of Orient.

image Aerial view image of George Town, Penang

Yes, it is illegal not to pay parking fees and you can be summoned by MPPP (Majlis Perbandaran Pulau Pinang) or simply the local municipal council of state of Penang.

Let’s look at some background history and some facts:

1. The system (need pay parking) is well in place well before Pakatan Rakyat took over the government from Barisan Nasional.

2. One of the reasons for such parking charges till midnight is to discourage, deter and stamp out illegal parking attendants (locally called “jaga keretas”) who are usually the poor, drug addicts or even gangsters.

3. It is legitimate money earned by the municipal council instead of “encouraging” drug abusers or the like to demand money and terrorize tourists. It is like a min “extortion’” – if you don’t pay them you must pray that your car will be free from scratches or damages when you come back to your car later.

My two cents

Penang is a great place to live and to spend your holidays, with the abundance of good and reasonably priced food or some people say cheap food! Just imagine you still can get a plate of Wan Tan Mee or a bowl of Hokkien Mee for RM2.50!

Penangites are warm and friendly as well. In addition it boasts of many tourist spots and George Town is also an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In my opinion the parking charges till midnight should be scrapped. The present government led by YAB Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng must have the political will to abolish such ridiculous parking system. The presence of illegal parking attendants (jaga keretas) should be tackled separately by all parties, including police. The issue of loss of income for the municipal council is a genuine one and I guess they have to find other means to boost their income once the system is scrapped.

What do you think, mates?

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2 Comments on Where you have to pay for public parking places till midnight?

  1. Alex Leow says:

    Agree. However, if there be still charges after the regular times, why not find a way to reduce it to say, 1 ct per hour or something along that line? Otherwise, put up signboards saying “No Parking Touts Allowed” or “Do Not Entertain Parking Touts”

  2. TehTarikKaki says:

    Personally I think putting up the signboards may just attract more touts as they know for sure this is a place where people come to park. Touts are difficult to stamp out; enforcement could be a solution. Just imagine there is less parking touts in PJ/KL area after night. Why huh?

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