A man took to Facebook recently to complain about his car that was clamped by Bandar Utama Polis Bantuan (auxiliary police) on 24 February
The Facebook post published on the same day began with a question from the man: "Can Bandar Utama Polis Bantuan clamp cars on public roads and collect money for their company?"
The man said in his post that "Jalan Dataran Bandar Utama is a public road" and that he "didn't see any signboards to say otherwise".
According to the man, the parking lot at Central Park Bandar Utama in Petaling Jaya was packed and most users of the park are often deprived of the facility as non-visitors also flock to this place for parking since it is free here.
"Having no choice my friend, Marc, who tagged along in his 4WD (four-wheel drive) and I parked along the main road. When we returned 40 minutes later, our cars were clamped."
The man was upset when his car was clamped by the auxiliary police, questioning if the officers have powers to do so
"Being a law abiding citizen, I was prepared to pay the necessary penalty if the clamping was done by Dewan Bandaraya, the Road Transport Department, or the police. I was shocked that both cars were clamped by Polis Bantuan Bandar Utama," the man wrote.
It was learned that the man had gone up to an officer and asked why polis bantuan was clamping vehicles on public road, to which the the latter answered, "My boss owns all the roads here."
"Marc and I walked to the Polis Bantuan office in 1 Utama Shopping Complex and none of the polis bantuan were able to answer the question on how come they were clamping cars on public roads except: 'Saya dapat arahan' (I got orders)."
The man said that he was told to pay RM50 to get his clamp removed when he asked the auxiliary police for a summons to dispute the issue
"After I paid, I received a flimsy piece of paper without a letterhead which said it was a temporary receipt. A chop at the end of the 'receipt' said it was issued on behalf of Polis Bantuan Bandar Utama City Corporation Sdn Bhd (Company No. 14165-U)."
"So where does the money that Marc and I paid as penalty goes to — the developer, the company that manages the polis bantuan, or the relevant government authorities?," he added.
The man ended his post saying that he would like for the relevant authorities to clear the air about the matter.
The complaint soon backfired after netizens pointed out that the man should not have parked illegally in the first place
However, others said that people who criticised the man missed the point that the man was trying to raise in his complaint - that is if it is actually legal for polis bantuan to clamp cars on a public road
Responding to the matter, 1 Utama Shopping Centre issued a statement on its official Facebook page
Without naming the said individual, the 1 Utama Shopping Centre said in statement that it was aware about the complaint about cars being clamped by the Bandar Utama Polis Bantuan (auxiliary police) and having to pay a RM50 fine each for the cars to be unclamped.
It said that it was "saddened" to learn about some of the accusations that were being thrown around and offered some explanation on the situation.
According to the statement, the road is still a private road and auxiliary police have the powers to clamp vehicles and issue summonses, as per the law.
"Jalan Dataran Bandar Utama is still under the developer Bandar Utama City Corporation Sdn Bhd and has not been handed over to the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ), as it has not been completed due to construction of the elevated road."
"The clamping of vehicles and issuance of summonses/fines to traffic offenders by the auxiliary police within the boundaries of the property where they are assigned (which in this case, a motorist found obstructing traffic within their jurisdiction), are authorised under the law," it added.
1 Utama Shopping Centre also reminded the public that road users are not supposed to park along the road that was marked with yellow lines
"Multiple and clear signages have been put up along the road stating 'No Parking' and 'Clamping/Towing Zone'. Two lanes on this road have to be maintained to prevent congestion and motorists selfishly parking alongside this road will narrow it to merely one lane."
"That being said, we do empathise and understand that there are limited parking at Central Park as the park was gazetted to keep most of the space as a green lung," the statement read, adding that visitors are advised to park at the proper designated places such as the open-air carpark adjacent to Central Park or indoors in the mall.
In the same statement, 1 Utama Shopping Centre went on to apologise for the inconvenience caused by the construction works taking place along the road, but it is to ease future traffic congestion.
"To end this note, we just want to say, 'Don't la park illegally'. Let's be nice to one another this CNY festive season and be mindful to all road users so that everyone gets to use the roads smoothly."