Middle-aged Gurdip Kaur – friends called her Rina – is a disabled person, having being paralysed from her waist down since a fall in 1993, but that hasn't stopped her from organising a charity event in Klang.
Because of her disability she encounters difficulties in reaching the parking meters to feed them when she parked at places requiring paid parking. Her physical predicament had led her to suffer 10 compound notices for failure to feed parking meters in August 2004. And the irony has been that she had parked her vehicle in those parking slots while performing charity work.
OK fine, so she has to pay the fines and the MPK building is the place for that, but guess what? Because the Klang Municipal Council (MPK) building is not a disable-friendly structure and doesn't facilitate her access, she couldn't do that as well.
Has the MPK been apologetic about not making its building disable-friendly to avoid disadvantaging our physically less fortunate members of the community, like Rina?
Nope, not in the least. Instead, the MPK has initiated legal action against Rina for not paying up. The council actually crowed that it has issued a warrant of arrest against Rina.
This high handed over-the-top action has distressed Shahrizat Abdul Jalil who isWomen, Family and Community Development Minister. She said: "I am very disappointed at the lackadaisical attitude of the local authority in the matter."
She lamented her ministry has no power to override the MPK's draconian and heartless action.
Warrant of arrest against Rina? I can understand why the minister has been upset. Didn't those councillors hear what Rina has said, that (1) she couldn't reach the parking meters, and (2) she couldn't get into the MPK building to pay?
Yes, sure they heard her! But the MPK has defended its actions saying that the council would still pursue Rina to pay up. However, trying to show they are good blokes (so they think) they would be prepared to offer Rina a discount.
Rina had actually sent a letter of appeal to MPK, undoubtedly stating her reasons and her physical conditions but not surprisingly, she didn't receive any response, no, not even a firm courteous rejection of her appeal.
I am not sure what would have run through their minds – I am just speculating whether it could be along the following lines: "Tough sh*t, why couldn't she crawl on her belly up into the MPK building? She still has her upper part of her body OK, hasn't she?"
So enter the naga (dragon) - none other than hero Kayveas, yes our very own PPP president and deputy minister in the PM's department. He lambasted the MPK as being 'blind' in failing to acknowledge that the motorist was unable to comply with the parking bylaws.
He said: "How could they enforce a rule when she has no way of obeying it in the first place?"
Well, I must support Kayveas here, but I disagree with his assumption that the MPK had been 'blind'. The members of the council definitely weren't because Rina had written to them. The reality has been they just couldn't give a sh*t about disability or the disable!
Kayveas urged local governments to bloody wake up to the specials needs of some less fortunate citizens. He raised the example of the Selayang Municipal Council for specially allocating more that 60 parking bays for disabled people.
Kayveas said: "It is a very good sign. What Selayang did for people with special needs should be emulated."
If Kayveas continues to act the hero in such cases, he's more likely to be respected. However, he missed the opportunity to name-call the MPK as 'tidak boleh pakai' and 'cowards' or just plain 'a$$-h*les'. Damn it!
Can you readers please write a letter to MPK showing your support and sympathies for Rina – thanks!