By A. Jeyaraj
I have been parking my car in the basement car park in Greentown Business Centre for the past few years. The entrance is along Persiaran Greentown 4 and is operated by Greentown Parking Sdn Bhd. The hourly parking fee was RM1 for first and subsequent hours and RM4 for parking for the whole day.
From July 1 the new rates are RM2 for the first hour and RM1 for subsequent hours up to a maximum of RM6 for parking for the whole day. When customers who park their cars daily enquired of the hike, the reply was, “People who park here are rich and can afford it.” There is no justification for a 100 per cent increase for first hour and 50 per cent increase for the whole day. There has been no change in the infrastructure. Probably the workers must be earning the minimum wage. If the management has to pay GST, then the hike must be 6 per cent and a receipt must be issued reflecting cost of GST. The management has responsibility to justify the reason for the hefty hike.
In fact over the years the fee must be reduced because the Management would have paid up their capital expenditure and now they have to bear operational costs only. In spite of the price hike, motorists’ still park at their own risk, meaning no additional security is provided.
Frequently I read in the papers about enforcement officers fining owners of businesses who have unduly increased their prices. Who is responsible to check and fine people who raise parking fees indiscriminately?
There are many other premises, like hotels and empty parking lots in the city where the fees may have been raised. I request readers to come forward and write to Ipoh Echo of other places that have hiked prices.
If the hikes in other places are known, we can compile a list and write to the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co-operative and Consumerism and Federation of Malaysian Consumers Association (FOMCA) to take action. If the public have ‘tidak apa’ attitude and willing to pay, then nothing can be done.
While writing this I am also thinking why the price of food in roadside stalls and restaurants have also been upped indiscriminately. I wonder why consumer associations are not taking any action.