My ST Forum letter on the Novena parking incident.
Here were the headlines:
"Site boss blocks motorists in four-hour standoff"
"Police to question man who blocked parked cars"
Re: The Novena Parking Ruckus
I read with amazement the response to the recent incident where a construction company project manager used his car to prevent some cars that were illegally parked on a private stretch of road, from leaving.
Firstly, that is private property. I am sure the signs and barricades said that clearly. Which part of "No Parking", "Private Property" and "No Trespassing" did those drivers (and many others before and after them) NOT understand? Even if you argue that the stretch of road was not private property but a public road, the road was "not open to the public and metal barricades had been placed at the Novena Terrace entrance to prevent motorists from entering it", and only Sun Huan Construction was allowed by LTA to use it.
Secondly, Mr Low must have been at his wit's end to have taken the extreme measure of parking his car there and preventing the illegal parkers from leaving. This was not some isolated one-time case. This was a frequent and rampant violation.
In fact, I think they got off easy already, just being held up for a few hours. In a less forgiving neighbourhood, their cars parking on private property without authorization would have been towed away, wheel-clamped, or more likely, deeply scratched, vandalized or tires damaged.
One of the drivers felt indignant that his wife had to take a half-day off because of the hold-up. She has my full measure of un-sympathy. What about the inconvenience caused to the construction workers by their inconsiderate illegal parking and trespassing? If you are willing to take the risk of trespassing on private property, then do not whine if there are unpleasant consequences.
It never ceases to amaze me how a nation of wealthy car owners, who have paid the moon for their cars, cannot cough up the measly few cents and dollars to park in legal and designated parking lots, like at Novena Square. And worse, when receiving their comeuppance after getting away with inconsiderate and ungracious behaviour, they have the gall to exchange telephone numbers and complain to the LTA. I am even more amazed that the authorities listened.
Can you imagine the phone call these folk made? "Hello? LTA? We just parked illegally and trespassed despite the barriers and signs, and we want to complain that the owners of the property prevented our cars from leaving the premises, thereby inconveniencing us."
Have you ever seen Malaysian cars illegally parked overnight at season parking lots in HDB estates? Do you know what the HDB does to these cars? I saw one such car once, with its wheel clamped, a summons on the windshield, and it was a Saturday night. The summons stated that the car owner will need to go down to the HDB Area Office to pay the fine to have the wheel clamp released, on MONDAY morning. That means that driver had to stay in Singapore the whole weekend to free his car. How about that for inconvenience?
Yours sincerely blah blah blah i/c number blah blah address home tel office tel blood group etc.