KOTA KINABALU: Kota Kinabalu mayor Yeo Boon Hai dismissed aspersions cast by Kota Kinabalu MP Jimmy Wong on the parking coupon amnesty day programme in conjunction with the 18th Kota Kinabalu City anniversary.
The amnesty day programme sought to recover more than 800,000 accrued compounds issued under Kota Kinabalu City by-laws, involving illegal parking and coupon parking offences.
It was initially meant for a one-day event on Feb 2 but was extended until Feb 9 after receiving appeals from the public and politicians.
Wong has said that the limitation period governed by Section 3 Item 97 Limitation Ordinance (Sabah Cap 72) meant local authorities had six years to get motorists to settle their parking summonses from the date they are issued.
Speaking to FMT, Yeo said the KK City Hall (DBKK) had actually sent repeated reminders to all offenders periodically and that its panel of lawyers were ready to answer any allegations thrown at them.
“The amnesty is a good gesture to them from DBKK. The RM10 per ticket is a very special discount considering all matters,” he said.
DBKK has yet to finalise the number of tickets cleared and the total amount of money it managed to collect over the past one week.
Yeo said DBKK’s decision to carry out the programme was to ease the “anxiety” suffered by offenders as well as to help them collect the money owed to it without taking any legal action.
As a result of the huge discounts, the people trying to beat the deadline formed queues as long as 1km, causing traffic congestion in the middle of the city.
“We apologise for all the inconveniences. But I have been approached by many people who said the discounts were really worth the long wait.
“DBKK provided water and umbrellas and even music for the people while they waited for their turn. At the same time, I repeatedly apologised to them all,” Yeo said.
He called for Wong to look at the issue from another point of view, saying that there has never been in the history of DBKK nor any other local authority in the country, an offer of this kind where offenders were given such huge discounts.
“From RM2,000 to only RM200, where else can you get this kind of discount of RM1,800? In the end, everybody is happy,” he said.