Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Highwayman.

[Updated notes at end.]

The word 'highwayman' was coined sometime in the 17th century in Great Britain. Who started it I have no idea at all. All I know is that the word refers to bandits or robbers on horses, who waylay travelers on the road. But I suspect now, there are less people traveling on horse or horse-carriages which makes the highwayman's job less easier than it was before. Still, they persists with new modus operandi.

There have been reports about motorist being robbed in bright daylight not only in on the highways, but within city centers as well. These new breed of highwayman - working in pairs - would purposely hit a car from the rear, forcing the front car driver to stop in his tracks. The highwayman driver would then engage his victim in an argument while his partner would get into the victim's car and drive away. If not that, then they would relieve the victim off his valuables. Ladies, have been reported to be the highwayman's favourite target. So ladies, please beware.

If ever you are hit from behind, do not get out of the car or open your windows wide. Yell to the other driver to follow you to a police station. And before you drive off, take down the car's plate number. But, having said that, there is another form of highway robbery that most drivers are not able to elude - the Toll Men!

I was reading bro Ahirudin's blog yesterday and it dawned on me that we Malaysians - especially Klang Valley folks - face legalised robbery daily without much of a whimper. At almost every avenue in and out of the city the Toll Men awaits us gleefully (not the workers, mind you, but their bosses!), and we are forced to give our money while being polite and saying 'thank you'. (Well, at least one guy I know does that - that oxymoron cakapaje guy!) Now, Klang Valley folks face the possibility of another highwayman in the making.

Looking on the bright side of it - if there's actually any, i.e - this new toll will bring a new form of employment. Serious! I mean, when I was sent to Jakarta some many years ago, the company rented a house in Kelapa Gading, a suburb of Jakarta. As the job entails lots of traveling within every nook and corner of the city, we had to pay lots and lots of money to toll gate operators. And sometimes when we need to rush downtown Jakarta for early morning meetings, we face a dilemma - several roads impose a heavy fine for single or double occupancy vehicles! To travel these roads, you have to have a full load of 4 people! Now, I ask you, how in the world are we supposed to drive with a full load when most of the time there's only 2 of us? Well, the answer my friend, is literally blowing in the wind!

Some of these full occupancy roads runs several kilometers short and are mainly single direction. At the entry of such roads, you'd find a queue of people by the roadside. Initially I thought, they were waiting for buses and what not. Thus I had a shock when my colleague stopped the car and gave a 2-finger sign to the people! A greater shock was when exactly 2 people walked to the car and got in the backseat! I mean, hello!, are we into some business I don't know, or have we suddenly become public vehicles! But, soon later my colleague explained it to me. And when we reached the end of the street, the passengers were paid and got off to walk back to their 'terminal'. Now, that is the new employment or business I mentioned earlier. Any takers? :) Perhaps the government can shift the duties of the 'jaga kereta' boys here, heheh.

Still in Kelapa Gading area, they found a way to ease the parking problems there. But before I continue, kindly look at the picture below which was taken from 'The Star'.



Now, in Kelapa Gading, or at least when I was there, they faced no such problem. All one have to do is drive into the secure parking area of the mall there and search for a parking spot. If there's none, no problemo! Just double park your car with the wheels pointing straight and do not engage the hand brakes! Then lock the doors and go about with your fun in the mall. If the vehicles you blocked wants to move out, they'll simply push your car out of the way. No hassle at all! What say you Dato' Bandar KL?


UPDATE 8/11/07: Doc Tokasid's last comment prompt this update. Back in 2001-03 when I was running myself flat to the ground, I rented rear half of an office, in Section 15, Subang Jaya. The front half tenant then, were my friends who were in the Design/Colour-Separation/Printing-Agent business.

The parking space in Section 15 is horrendous, leaving many without choice but to double park their vehicles. And soon, the MPPJ at first, then the MBSJ, would come around putting parking fines on the vehicles. Later, they resorted to towing those double-parked vehicles to the yard. Owners, apart from having to pay the compound, had also to pay the towing charges. This had the local people up-in-arms against the council and the latter eased down on their operation. But before that happened double-parked car owners would leave their business cards on the dashboard so that owners of blocked cars can call them. Later, the situation paved way for a new small business.

This particular street we were in, had hundreds of offices. While the business owners would normally rent a reserved lot from the council, workers and visitors to these offices had to fight for parking space. Soon, some of the freelance dispatch riders took a business initiatives and privately proposed to it to the people there.

What they had going, even for the short while it survived, was simple: the people chipped in a small amount each for these dispatch riders to give alerts to each office on the arrival of the enforcement officers and tow-vehicles. The business ended when the local people had a showdown with the council about those tow-trucks. Call it business ingenuity or plain opportunist, they served a purpose then.

34 comments:

Fatin said...

Assalamualaikum,

LOL Letting of the hand break is a good idea but what if the car park isn't that flat, you know the quality of construction in our country...

Wassalam.

Zabs said...

Salam CA,
Dua-dua cadangan tu ada buruk dan baiknya. Baik seperti yang telah tuan terangkan. Yang buruknya, untuk kes pertama takut bukan penumpang tu yang berjalan, tuan punya kerata kena tinggal tepi jalan. Dalam kes kedua, kereta2 tu akan kena tolak sampai tuan punya tak jumpa lagi kereta mereka.

cakapaje said...

Wa'alaikumusalam warahmatullah,

Hmm...have not thought about that. Well, then we'll just be contributing towards the economy of the country by paying to those tow truck drivers! lol!

Sure they will become kaya!

cakapaje said...

Salam Pak Zabs,

Hmm, betul juga ye. Kalau gitu, penumpang itu semua mesti ambil register dan ambil lesen. Hehe...

Kes kereta tolak tu, kalau kat sana tu, biasanya ditolak kedepan dan belakang taklah jauh sangat, setakat untuk keluarkan kereta kena blok tu. Tapi yelah, macam macam leh jadi kan?

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

shah,

i dont see any reason why roads leading to kl town should be tolled. as it is now, the traffic is just madness.

these fellas are just a bunch of leeches. PERIOD.

PrincessJournals said...

u kno what? when i was working at mimb, thts wht the parking attentands did. as usual, there never was enuf parking for everybody so they let u double park as long as u dont put ur hand-brake up and if need, theyl move/push the car for u. ;)

San said...
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vesewe said...
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konek said...
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aston said...

ACA protects cheats, money launderers, the corrupting, lying and thieving politicians. I congratulate the ACA chief (what is his name?). Well done, good job.

coolooc said...
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reek said...

This is just another example of how sick our present government under BN is.

It makes us all wonder how low can they go before the whole country collapses……….

fargoman said...
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samp said...
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yuking said...
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ruyom said...
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tokasid said...

Salam shah:

Syeh ,hang dah kena serang dengan lifeless morons(they don't have oxy) spammers.

Highway robbers...bukan KL saja.Soon PLUS akan naikkan kadar tol jugak.

With the crme rate now, and you just can't trust anyone nowadays, the 'passenger profession' is unsuitable in Malaysia. Like pak zabs, aku takut kita pulak kena berdiri di terminal.

cakapaje said...

Salam kerp,

You said it bro, you said it! Give me a 5! :)

cakapaje said...

Salam Princess,

Hope you don't mind me calling you that as I kind of like it.

Serious? See folks, it does work! lol! And I bet those parking attendants are either Indian or Indons, hehe, as I hear the same thing is practiced in certain parts of India.

cakapaje said...

Salam Doc,

lol! Dah kena rompak, kita dipaksa tukar profession lak ye! :)

But what I 'proposed' - though its true observations - are all in jest :)

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

aiseh brader...lu pon sudah kena...hahhaha...

for obvious reason, you left one posted. haha..

cakapaje said...

Kerp bro,

Hahaha! It was unintentional, honest! Still, it fits in. lol!

tokasid said...

Shah:

Actually what they did in Jakarta is good, but with recent crime rate in Malaysia, I don't think our public is ever gonna give it a try.

Kalau boleh di buat...yes it will create lots of job opportunities: Penumpang Profesional.And you get to wear a clean shirt with a tie and taking along an empty briefcase with you.

The parking tak tarik handbrakes, I think someone did mention(tak ingat che'gu or Accia or muteaudio punya posting lepas Raya ni)that in certain places in Penang buat macam tu and the ppl there have that understanding,so it worked well.
But if we are so kiasu...this will fail. But we can give a try,can't we?

cakapaje said...

Doc,

What you mentioned reminds me of something in Subang Jaya, think I'll follow your technique with updating my postings - towards the end of it.

Mat Salo said...

Pak Cakap.. Bapak pun bisa pakei jockey ya, Pak? He-he...

tokasid said...

Shah:

That was enterprising of those guys ,eh.I mean, it really made lives less tense. But knowing our local councils...well, I have nothing good to say about them.

I mean, if the public did complaint about the double parking, I can understand. But if the public using the system is happy with it and is convinient to them, why should the local council kacau daun? I know some will say bcoz its against the council's law. I say its bcoz of the fines generated by these laws. You see, when tow trucks are being paid to do the job, they(towing operator) can always implant a 'kaki'or 'ulat' there to report to the local council.Just like they have kakis and ulats in highways(esp Karak).

Despite shortlived, that project was brilliant Shah. Tabik spring to them guys!!

cakapaje said...

Salam Pak Matsalo,

Hehe...jockey, enggak pandai pak! Bila bapak mahu update blog dengan kisah kisah eksploit Indiana Jones bapak? Kami, setia menunggu di sini :)

cakapaje said...

Doc,

Yes, I really think it was brilliant too! And the project was an effort that cut through the race barrier; Malays, Chinese, Indians and even expats chipped in to make it work.

Mior Azhar said...

Shah,
You too?! I've deleted all, anyway.
I agree with Kerp, roads leading into KL should not be tolled... tetapi itulah yang banyak sekarang nih.
And I read somewhere that they are gonna to raise the PLUS highway early next year. Gaji aku jugak yang tak naik2.

cakapaje said...

Salam Pak Mior,

Yes, unfortunately me too! Hmm...

With regards to the toll, yes, it may be just that. The gomen, signed a lopsided contract with PLUS whereby the latter get to increase the toll rates every 3 years, irrespective of the profit they make, and most certainly for the losses they don't incur. Thing is, PLUS belong to umno group, those lilliputians who think they own Malaysia!

Later, this agreement became the module for all toll concessionaires in Malaysia! Mati ooo....! :)

Yang heran tu, ada lak mamat dan minah yg tak relevan menyokong lak tu! Pening den :)

Well, Pak Meor, at least you ada salary. People like me who runs around like dogs, may soon just be one too! Na'uzubillah! Selisih malaikat 44!

Kata Tak Nak said...

Next on the list will be the air that you breathe. All Malaysians will have to pay toll for the air that they breathe. Amount will depend on the API. (Is it API or some other kind of index, I am not sure)

cakapaje said...

Salam Cikgu,

Hmmm...I pun tak sure gak: Air Purity Index or Air Performance Index? Tapi kalau yang last tu, lagi susah. Anyone...?

Btw, sekonon kononnya, in Switzerland, you do pay taxes for the air. But don't think its true though.

PrincessJournals said...

CA, the parking lot was run by a chinese family and they also have carwash service! id leave my car keys w them everytime i had my car washed. they did a really good job and i never had anything lost!

cakapaje said...

Salam Princess,

About trusting the parking attendant of privately owned carparks, I'd say most of them are trustworthy as I too have never lost anything yet.

Sometimes, I'd make a joke with them saying there's several bars of gold in the car and ask them to guard them properly. Then, their eyes would bulge big! Almost immediately, they would laugh out loud and the ice is broken and we become friends :)

Yes, I'd say most of them are trustworthy :)