Majlis Perbandaran Subang Jaya (MPSJ) and Subang Jaya assemblywoman Hannah Yeoh came out in The Star today talking about parking stickers for disabled people living in Subang Jaya. The initiative by MPSJ to allow disabled people with such stickers to park our car for free at parking places managed by the municipality is commendable.
Hannah was right in saying that disabled people with these stickers do not have to go through the inconvenience of paying at the parking meters. Most of the parking meters are not designed with wheelchair users who drive in mind. Moreover, these meters are often blocked by haphazardly parked vehicles or placed in spots where they are inaccessible to someone who is on a wheelchair.
Although I do not live in Subang Jaya, I do venture out to the municipality for check-ups at the Subang Jaya Medical Center and to run some other errands. I can appreciate the convenience of not having to look for parking with meters that I can reach and decided to check if I could get one of those stickers too. I called Hannah’s assistant Cherrinee Lee twice at the phone number published in the newspaper but it went unanswered. I then wrote her an email enquiring about the stickers.
I read in The Star that MPSJ is issuing parking stickers for disabled
people. I do not live in Subang Jaya but frequently go there to run
errands. I am a wheelchair user holding the Kad Kenal Diri Orang Kurang
Upaya and a valid driving license. Please let me know how I can apply for
the parking stickers.
Cherrinee replied as follows:
The sticker is issued to all OKU living the areas under the jurisdiction of MPSJ. If you do not live in one of the areas, kindly check with your local authority. Thank you.
I assume that she missed my point in requesting for information on how I can apply for one of the parking stickers. So I wrote back to her:
Thank you for your reply. Does that mean that an OKU not living in the
areas under the jurisdiction of MPSJ who parks his car at public parking
spaces managed by MPSJ have to go through the inconvenience of paying at
the parking meters?
Your clarification on this matter is appreciated.
At the time of posting this entry, I have not received a reply from her yet.
Disabled people do not only move around in their respective municipalities. We do go to other municipalities to fulfill commitments and participate in social activities. Therefore, it is short-sighted of MPSJ to only make it convenient for disabled people residing in Subang Jaya while causing inconvenience to disabled people from other places. I am not asking for free parking here. All I want is the convenience to pay parking fees. The parking meters in Subang Jaya do not allow that. Will I be issued with a parking ticket if I park my car without paying because I cannot reach the parking meter?
The inaccessible public transport system in Malaysia has severely restricted the mobility of disabled people. Many of us who need to travel often have no choice but to get a car and learn to drive. It is not cheap to maintain a car especially with the rising fuel price. While MPSJ realises some of the problems faced by disabled people who drive the municipal council lacks the foresight to understand the core issues why people are disabled. People are disabled by attitudes that are bent in deciding what is best for disabled people without fully understanding what the consequences of those actions will lead to. This is evident by the restrictive conditions imposed in applying for the parking stickers.
My take on this issue is that MPSJ wants to portray the municipality as being caring. By making it convenient for some disabled people while disregarding the same problem plaguing other disabled people who visit the municipality but do not reside there, MPSJ has only displayed a half-hearted attempt in this effort. The thoughtfulness in making it convenient for disabled people who drive by issuing these parking stickers is praiseworthy but if one were to look deeper, this exercise is negated by the poor execution of the plan as it still disables people.
Tuesday September 9, 2008
Free parking for the disabled
THE disabled people living in the Subang Jaya municipality have been urged to apply for free parking stickers at the council.
They are also requested to carry their cards at all time to be eligible for their privileges.
Apply now: Yeoh showing the stickers for the disabled while Adnan looks on.
According to the Petaling welfare office some 298 disabled people in Subang Jaya are registered with it, but only 23 of them had applied for the council’s free parking stickers this year.
Subang Jaya assemblyman Hannah Yeoh said not many disabled people were aware of the stickers.
“This is not a new thing as the council introduced it in 2006,” said Yeoh during a press briefing together with the MPSJ president Datuk Adnan Md Ikshan.
“The stickers will enable the disabled to park their cars for free at public parking spaces that are managed by the MPSJ, so that they need not go through the inconvenience of paying at the parking meters.”
The stickers are not applicable at private complexes or shopping malls.
It is learnt that only seven disabled people had applied for the stickers in 2006, while in 2007, only 17 applications were received.
Yeoh said this was one of the first steps undertaken towards making things more convenient for the disabled.
Adnan added that since 1995, there was a compulsory by-law for any submissions of development order and building plan to include facilities for the disabled.
“However, it was only enforced two years ago,” he said.
Yeoh said she would be having a meeting on Nov 1 with the disabled community in Subang Jaya to be held at the MPSJ building.
“I’ll arrange for some councillors to be around during the meeting so that they can listen to the hardships faced by the disabled and work towards a solution.”
For more information on the stickers call Yeoh’s assistant Cherrinee Lee at 012-291 3358 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.