By A. Jeyaraj
In Issue 215 (July 1-15) of Ipoh Echo I wrote about “Parking fee hiked by 100 per cent” and a few days after submitting the article I read a news headline in NST (Friday, June 26), “RM30,000 fine over RM20 hike”. I decided to raise the fee hike with Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperative and Consumerism.
I went to their office and spoke to one of the lady officers and handed over a copy of Ipoh Echo. The officer, who was friendly, took time to read the article and said that I can make a complaint. She prepared a complaint report based on information written in the article. I gave my contact number and signed the report. The officer said that enforcement personnel from Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Unit would investigate the case and inform me of the outcome.
While waiting to see the officer, I was reading the Notice Board and saw that there was a Duty Roster for the staff for the month of July. This seems to be a well organised department and there will be a dedicated person every day to hear complaints; unlike other government departments when most of the time the person in charge would be on leave, attending a course or out of office. (All government departments dealing with the public must implement this.)
Readers who have complaints on any issue can visit their office which is located at Tingkat 1, Blok A, Bangunan Persekutuan Greentown, Jalan Dato Seri Ahmad Said, 30450 Ipoh, Perak.
Next, I went to MCA Complaints Bureau in Horley Street and told of the problem to the clerk. The clerk, who was a middle aged lady, immediately replied that Greentown Business Centre is prime area and RM2 is very cheap and in fact the fee should be higher. She said parking fees in KL are much higher and no one complains. She added salaries including hers have gone up and prices are going up and it is justifiable to raise the fee. She was not willing to reason out why the raise must be 100 per cent. As far as she is concerned there is nothing to complain about. I am not sure whether this is her personal opinion or this is the stand of MCA.
Response from Ministry: I received a letter from the Ministry dated July 7 informing that action has been taken and thanked me for bringing up the issue. However, when I parked my car in the basement car park on July 15 I was charged the new rate. I do not know what action was taken. I leave it to the people who park there regularly to talk to the Ministry directly and explain their problem.