SANDAKAN: The Sandakan Municipal Council (SMC) is waiting for approval from the Ministry of Local Government and Housing regarding its proposal to widen its jurisdiction to more parking spaces here beginning August 1.
SMC president Datuk Peter Hii Chang Lik said the proposal included parking spaces in satellite towns around Sandakan, namely Bandar Maju, Bandar Kim Fung, Bandar Pasaraya, Bandar Indah, Bandar Prima Square, Bandar Tyng, Bandar Utama, Bandar One Avenue, Bandar Megah Jaya, Bandar Labuk Jaya and Bandar Sibuga Jaya.
“During the SMC’s full board meeting on April 30, we came up with a proposal to widen SMC’s jurisdiction to more parking spaces and implement the parking coupon system in these 11 towns. In that meeting, it was agreed that the proposal would be initiated on August 1, this year.
“In the proposal, the parking charge for the 11 areas is RM0.25 per half an hour for yellow spaces, while RM2 per half an hour for green spaces, which are located in front of banks.
“For parking reserves of hotels, banks, companies, supermarkets and others, RM300 per month is charged for a parking space at the back of the building and RM500 for a parking space in front of the building,” he said after chairing the board meeting here yesterday.
Peter explained that the operating time proposed is 8am to 5pm on weekdays, 8am to 1pm on Saturdays, and free parking on Sundays and public holidays.
Currently, only the town is implementing the parking coupon system while other areas do not have charges for their parking spaces.
“SMC has approved free parking for six months since February this year, so the charge will be re-implemented on August 1,” he said.
When asked about a recent Chinese newspaper article which quoted Elopura assemblyman Calvin Chong Ket Kiun saying that SMC had yet to have a meeting on the matter, Peter stressed that Chong’s claim was not true.
“SMC has made a decision and passed the proposal on April 30 and SMC has sent a letter to the Ministry of Local Government and Housing on May 8 for approval,” he said.
Peter also commented on a statement by Karamunting assemblyman cum Assistant Local Government and Housing Minister George Hiew Vun Zin who said now was not a suitable time to implement the proposal. He said SMC also needed income to pay for its staff and to run the administration and the operation.
“If SMC does not have a fixed source of income, how is SMC going to administrate and operate the development of Sandakan?” he questioned.
SMC also reminded its officers and councillors that it is an offence for anyone who attempts to bring any influence to support a claim regarding public service, whether or not the claim is personal.