Besides the Police, the J.P.J., the local authorities like Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL), Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya (MBSJ) and Majlis Perbandaran Shah Alam (MPSA) all have the authority to issues summons for traffic offenses.
A reader who recently wrote in to this blog asking the ways and means of getting back his vehicle which has been obviously chained and pulled away by the local authorities.
Under the law stipulated by the Local Council Act, local councils do possess the right to issue summonses for illegal parking, not displaying a valid parking ticket, not having a dog license and even open burning of rubbish.
But you must have read an article in which the Star Newspaper of the 22nd November 2009 edition reported with regards to a recent High Court ruling in the landmark case whereby local councils did not have the right to prosecute anyone. This is because such prosecution would contravene the Federal Constitution.
In case you are not aware of what is happening in the sleepy hollow of Lanchang, Pahang, mini market owner Subramaniam Gopal, 50 defied the Lancang Temerloh Municipal Council to move his fish cum vegetable business to a new council market.
Subramaniam was reportedly taken to court on four charges of operating his business, the G.M. Mini Market. It was further reported that the High Court Judicial Commissioner, Aktar Tahir overturned a Magistrate Court’s ruling that Subramaniam could only be prosecuted by the Attorney General himself.
Does that mean that motorists and drivers who have been summoned for illegal parking, parking without paying valid fees and so forth can now do away with those summonses?
My advice to all those who are holding on to unpaid summonses issued by the local authorities is to hold on to them a while longer. Do not be too impatient. Everything is still transitional.
There is a Chinese saying, “one swallow does not a winter make”.
Why do I make such a comment?
Do not forget that the Local Council Act has been in practice for many years now. Thousands of people throughout the country has since been prosecuted.
I am afraid that if you should react hastily and start throwing away your summonses, you might end up regretting your actions.
As another famous saying advises us, “we are not out of the woods, yet”.
The decision made by Judicial Commissioner Aktar Tahir was at the high Court level, please do not forget that. And also do not forget, the Municipal Council of Lancang could still make an appeal to the Supreme Court after this.
As a Malaysian and having witnessed the fiasco over who is to be the rightful Speaker for the Perak State Assembly, we could safely conclude than in our country today, actually there is no law. No one could safely define what is right and what is wrong.
One fine day, the High Court will make one ruling. And another, the Supreme court will come out with another decision later.
Assuming, as a driver who has been issued a local council summons, you decide to ignore and throw away your existing unpaid summons, where do you stand when and if the Supreme Court makes a ruling in favour of the Lancang Municipal Council in its appeal later on?
With no summons in hand and having not settled your summons, will definitely land you in real hot soup. I can only foresee a “warrant of arrest” being made out by the Lancang or for that matter, any other local authority for your arrest.
The final advice I feel I should provide to all drivers and motorists who have been issued with summonses by the local authorities, is to hold on to your summonses just yet.
Or better still, pay up your summons. Do not wait for a warrant of arrest to be made out against you. Do not forget though, the cost of a warrant of arrest is RM200.
This cost will be added to your amount of summons you owe the local authority, making it a much higher figure.
Do ponder carefully with regards to this advice given. And it is certain you’ll come up with the correct decision to settle the outstanding summons you owe the local authorities.