While parking problems are common in urban areas, some places are worse than others. One of the areas facing such difficulties is Kim Teng Park, a residential area in Johor Bahru. The uptown Jalan Storey has become a favorite place for motorists to park for free before heading to work in Singapore due to its proximity to the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex at the Sultan Iskandar Building.

This drew the ire of local residents, including businessmen in the area, as star reports. Residents and businesses said there were instances of cars being stranded for days, making it difficult for businesses to operate as customers couldn’t find parking.

According to a businessman who only wants to be known as Ahmed, the situation became so dire that he had to block off the parking lot in front of his store to prevent outsiders from encroaching on the space. “If I don’t cordon off the space, how are the bread and ice vendors and other vehicles going to load and unload my store?” he said.

He added that he was often asked “Is this your grandfather’s way?” as someone tried to remove the barrier. He lashed out at the parking squatters. “They want to work in developed countries, but let’s deal with their third world mentality,” he said.

This act of barrier-setting has not gone unnoticed, with the Johor Bahru City Council (MBJB) reportedly fining shop owners who place traffic cones, chairs, rubbish bins and other items in front of their shops to deter people from parking there.

However, Kim Teng Park Residents Association chairman Danial Lokman Hakim said the city council should focus on the root cause and find a solution to the problem before going after the shop owners. “If people weren’t abusing their parking spaces, I don’t think these shopkeepers would be putting up barriers,” he told the news publication.

At the same time, local residents also understand the barriers in the parking lot, because many people also face the same problem. Vehicles are parked randomly on the road outside the house, causing danger to other drivers in the community.

Daniel said the council should enforce the law and punish those who abuse parking spaces by either having cars towed away or imposing hefty fines on non-residents who misuse spaces as long-term car parks. “MBJB has every right to tow these cars. Why aren’t they enforcing the law? Are they short of manpower, tow trucks or storage space?”

He added that MBJB should be well aware of the issue as its parliament building is not even a kilometer from the site. “The situation is getting worse every day, especially after the pandemic. There is even an MPV parked here to transport people working in Singapore. There is a charge to carry passengers, but it is free to park here,” he said.

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