Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Oh For A Little Civility!

Living in a small town has its advantages, but like cities, it also subjects folks to aggravations that make daily life miserable. One of these is the inconsiderate and indiscriminate parking by motorists and taxi drivers. The other is the obstruction of five-foot ways even though existing local council regulations prohibit the use of five-foot ways for displaying merchandise, parking motorcycles, car repairs or a temporary space for unloaded goods.

Traffic and parking rules and regulations on five-foot ways are seemly broken daily with impunity.

The multi storey Batu Pahat District Council building has parking facilities for taxis, but protests from taxi drivers most of whom are Malays have left the district council completely powerless to enforce the measure. Consequently, one can see valuable parking lots reserved for taxis. They are, incidentally, the king of the road. They park where they want, stop where they want , wait for passengers where they want, drop off passengers where they want and best of all they don’t have to use parking coupons.

And where are the traffic police? Have they been deployed to perform other policing duties? They can hardly be seen patrolling the streets of Batu Pahat, whether in the day or in the evening. On busy streets that lead to the old and new markets, at the river side hawker centre and the main business street where most banks are found, there is a flagrant disregard for traffic regulations and civility. It is abhorrent to see such blatant display of selfishness.

Taxis are allowed to double park on a section of the road at the bus and taxi station.

Double parking is a common occurrence on both sides of this busy road where Public Bank is located.

A lorry obstructing traffic as its goods are being unloaded. A car blatantly parked against the flow of traffic along the road where Public Bank is located. The two way street has become one way.

This is really maddening. A lorry and two parked cars completely blocking a side street, rendering both the entrance and exit points inaccessible.

Double parking on both sides of Jalan Mohd Akil where the wet market is hampers the smooth flow of vehicles. The parked black car with its back conspicuously eating into the road.

In the background, two lorries parked on each side Jalan Ibrahim, and double parking reduce traffic to a crawl.

Five-foot ways are supposed to provide shoppers with the convenience to shop in relative comfort. Instead, these are choked with merchandise, bicycles and motorcycles, boxes of electrical appliances and even cars at motor vehicle spare part shops.

Plastic household things blocking the five-foot way.

Goods ranging from onions, yellow beans and dried chilli partially block the five-foot way.

Cartons of electrical equipment being left on the five-foot way.

A parked motor-cycle completely obstructing the five-foot way.

The five-foot way being used to repair cars.

And this shop owner who clogs up the five-foot way really takes the cake. Notice that he even has bags of plastic goods hanging from the ceiling.

After 50 years of independence, Malaysians have become a people not noted for their consideration or civility.

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