No, I am not talking about the shock most of us experience when we look at the mirror in the morning. The ugly Malaysians here are those inconsiderate few who make life miserable for many disabled people. Their acts have caused a great deal of inconvenience to us, directly and indirectly.
Accessible parking at Lot 10 blocked by a sign.
They park indiscriminately in bays allocated to disabled people, blatantly ignoring the clamp and fine warnings because most times, this ruling is not enforced. To stop such abuse, car park managers barricade these bays with parking cones or chain them up. However, this does not solve the problem at all as the barricades also prevent disabled people from parking in the bays.
Security personnel unlocking chained up accessible parking at Jusco Kinta City Ipoh.
Some car park managers leave a phone number to be called for assistance. Others have security personnels nearby that can be summoned by a honk. The real problems are in car parks that are barely manned, and especially when the disabled driver is unaccompanied. This restricts disabled people driving solo to only a handful of places.
Accessible parking bays at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur blocked by traffic cones.
The act of having to put up warning signs and barricades at accessible parking bays clearly shows the mentality of some drivers. These inconsiderate people would park in one, without a second thought, if they could get away with it, and most of the time they do. This perpetuates the abuse as offenders are emboldened by the lack of enforcement.
Signboard at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur warning against abusing accessible parking.
As I see it, putting up barricades is not a solution to stem this abuse. Car park managers, including local authorities, must strictly enforce the clamp and fine rule, or tow away offending vehicles. It is only through severe punitive measures that these people will be forced obey the rules and hopefully learn to be more considerate.
Two days ago, a Cik Sharifah from Jusco Taman Maluri Shopping Centre called in response to my complaint regarding the facilities for disabled people. I did not pick up the phone. She left a voice mail. I called back.
Drivers WLC 5702 and WNY 8347 abusing parking spaces for disabled people at Jusco Taman Maluri.
Photo by Wuan.
I stressed on the need to ensure that the accessible parking are made available only to disabled people and not to every inconsiderate Tom Dick and Harry. At the same time, I questioned her about the purpose of the Priority Cashier Lane at the supermarket when disabled people, senior citizens and pregnant women still have to follow the queue like everyone else.
Jusco Priority Cashier Lane at Kinta City Shopping Centre.
Photo by Wuan.
She did not give a definitive answer to the two issues that I brought up except to say that they will look into it and improve their service to customers. I told her that I will complain again if I still face the same problems the next time I am there.
Update: January 16, 2009
A Cik Aniza from Jusco Taman Maluri called just now regarding the Priority Cashier Lane. Apparently, she is with the store while Cik Sarifah who called earlier is in charge of the shopping centre. Shortly after she called, a staff from AEON careline called to check if anyone contacted me regarding the Priority Cashier Lane matter. In fact, after Cik Sharifah called me the other day, Yvonne from AEON Careline called to check if anyone called me regarding the abuse of accessible parking the next day. Hats off to Jusco and AEON Careline for the response. Now lets hope they will carry through by ensuring the facilities for disabled people are not abused.
Update: January 17, 2009
A Miss Khor from Kinta City Shopping Centre called regarding the accessible parking. She informed me that the shopping centre has allocated 4 accessible car park at Level 2 in the multi-storey car park. I will check it out when I am in Ipoh next week. I am impressed by AEON Careline’s response to the issues I brought up. Miss Yvonne of AEON Careline has been calling to verify if the respective Jusco stores and shopping centres have contacted me. Did I say I am impressed with their customer service? That aside, lets see if my complaints have been addressed the next time I visit them.
After the parking incident on Sunday, I sent a love note to Juso via email. They replied a while ago to apologise for the incident and asked for my contact number. I provided my phone number and am waiting for the next response from them.
My wife and I are regular shoppers at your stores in Taman Maluri Shopping
Centre, Mid Valley Megamall, 1 Utama Shopping Centre and sometimes at
Kinta City Shopping Centre. I am a wheelchair user and I appreciate the
fact that Jusco has taken the effort to include accessible toilets for the
convenience of shoppers like me.
However, the accessible toilets at Taman Maluri and Kinta City are too
small for comfort to accomodate a wheelchair user and a personal
assistant. You should look into the dimension prescribed in the Uniform
Building By-Law 34A in Malaysian Standard MS 1184: Code of Practice on
Access for Disabled People to Public Buildings to build proper and
functional toilets that disabled people can use.
The Taman Maluri store has two parking spaces for disabled people outside
the supermarket but it is mostly occupied by cars with non-disabled
drivers or passengers. This lack of enforcement by your security personnel
has rendered this parking space useless for disabled people who want to
shop at Jusco. What is the point of allocating such spaces when everyone
ignores its purpose and parks there leaving disabled drivers like me with
no place to park and get out from our cars conveniently?
Please see below my account about an incident that happened on Sunday at
your Taman Maluri store car park:
There was one time when my wife moved the wheelchair signboards at the
Taman Maluri store for me to park there only to be scolded by a very rude
security personnel who did not verify if the car had a disabled driver or
passenger. When we indicated to him that I am a disabled person, he just
walked away without assisting my wife in moving the signboard. This
incident has reflected very badly on the professionalism of your security
Moreover, the size of the accessible parking space in the multistorey car
park at Taman Maluri and outside Kinta City are of the wong size. Ideally,
accessible parking for disabled people should be 3.6m in width to allow a
wheelchair to be placed beside the car. The parking spaces at both places
are of regular size. If another car were to park too closely to our cars,
we will have problems opening the car door wide enough for us to get in.
If Jusco is serious in providing the parking space for disabled people, I
suggest that the cones and wheelchair signboards be removed as this is
causing disabled drivers problems when parking. You should instead assign
a security personnel near the parking space to ensure that only cars with
disabled driver or passengers park there.
I would also like to note that the Jusco stores that I frequent have
Priority Cashier Lane for disabled people, pregnant women and senior
citizens.Since its implementation until now, I have had to queue together
with other shoppers to pay. I am not complaining that I have to queue. I
am just disappointed that the signboard is there for show only as your
cashiers never bothered to give priority to the three categories of
people. In that case, I suggest that you remove that signboard since it
serves no purpose at all and make us queue like everyone else.
I hope Jusco will seriously look into these problems and take the
necessary actions to rectify the problems. I am sure Jusco would like to
ensure the comfort of all shoppers including wheelchair users, senior
citizens and pregnant women who are your loyal customers.
I look forward to a positive response from you.