KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here today dismissed Seputeh MP Teresa Kok and a consumer group’s bid to nullify City Hall’s (DBKL) decision last year to appoint an agent to collect parking fees.
High Court judge Justice Azizah Nawawi dismissed Kok and Selangor and Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur Consumers Association’s Yusof Abdul Rahman’s case on the ground that mayor Amin Nordin Abdul Aziz had complied with DBKL’s rules in appointing Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan to collect parking fees.
“The mayor has the power under Order 21 to make decisions in the particular circumstance as necessary,” the judge said in referring to the mayor’s management of procurement and administration of contract orders.
The court ordered Kok to pay cost of RM5,000 to the mayor.
Speaking to reporters after the decision, her lawyer SN Nair said they were disappointed with the decision as it has far-reaching legal implicationa.
“The mayor must provide reasons on the appointment as it involves people’s money.”
Kok said she would appeal against the decision.
“For me, roadside parking should not be privatised and DBKL should charge the public reasonably as many people are facing high cost of living.”
Last year, Kok and Yusof applied for a judicial review, seeking to quash the parking fee hike in the city as they claimed it was illegal and irregular.
The duo named Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, Amin and DBKL as respondents in their legal challenge.
The court had in May allowed Kok and Yusof to challenge DBKL’s decision to appoint a company to collect parking charges but not on the question of the hike in parking charges, ruling it was a policy decision by the mayor.
Kok had in her affidavit said the fee increase was between 100% and 275% and the current fee was between 80 sen and RM3 per hour.
She said the council’s act of appointing Vista Summerose and Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan was made unilaterally and arbitrarily.
The act was also against the rule of natural justice and violated the principle of good governance, she said.
Kok said the respondents had also gone against government procurement procedures in awarding the right to Vista Summerose and Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan to collect the parking fees.
DBKL had announced in June 2016 that the fee to park in council-owned parking bays had been raised to RM2 per hour from 80 sen an hour previously.
The charge for a subsequent hour will be RM3.
The areas affected by the fee increase were Bukit Bintang, Bukit Damansara, Sri Hartamas, Desa Hartamas, Solaris Mont Kiara, Taman Tun Dr Ismail and Bangsar.
Amin had said the move was not aimed at generating revenue but was the “only way” to reduce traffic congestion in the city and encourage carpooling.