Police must act against jaga kereta boys who illegally set up booths to collect money from unsuspecting motorists. File Pic

Have you seen a galaxy far, far away in the sky lately?

I tried looking for one the other night, but for the life of me I could not make out one star from the other, let alone figure out what the hazy dots I was seeing in the sky actually were.

However, I did wonder if right then, somewhere out there in outer space, a real battle was going on to save a galaxy from the evil Empire’s world-destroying battle station. Images of Jedi knights, droids, storm troopers and, but of course, Darth Vader, flashed through my mind as I gazed up into the night sky after an evening out with friends.

Just then, right as I was starting to feel it, there was a great disturbance in the force.

I was suddenly
jolted to my senses by some rude words
being spoken out loud.

“You parking sini, bayar 30 puluh ringgit.” (You have to pay RM30 for parking here.)

I turned round only to see a muscular, menacing looking man speaking threateningly to a couple who was about to enter a car parked along the road shoulder.

The thug was speaking to the couple in a tone as though the area where they had parked belonged to him or had been his family asset passed on from one generation to the other.

I knew that, that could not be the case as their car, as mine, was parked along the main road which divides rows of pubs and other entertainment outlets in Changkat, which is located smack in the golden triangle of the city centre.

The couple also told him just that, but before they could say anything more he cut them off and in not so many words he impressed on them that he found their lack of faith in the fact that he “owned” the place disturbing.

There was a subsequent exchange of words, and to cut a long story short there were soon more rowdy guys who had surrounded the couple demanding for money.

I bet if the couple had a lightsaber with them there would have been a real ugly scene that night.

The point here is I don’t know if anyone has noticed but there are some really strange things going on these days not only in and around Kuala Lumpur, but also its surrounding areas as well.

It is happening not only in so-called shady areas like Brickfields, but also expatriate haunts like Changkat, Bukit Bintang, Mont Kiara, and also other places in Selangor.

Rowdy and unsavoury characters seem to have staked claims over these places extorting exorbitant sums from motorists who park whether in legitimate lots or, illegally along road shoulders.

Most of these jaga kereta boys even have the audacity to set up mobile booths complete with plastic chairs and umbrella shades collecting payments from helpless motorists while claiming to operate valet services on council lots.

The hoodlums seem to be operating with impunity without the least fear of the police or any other local authorities.

I asked such a “taiko” who operates so-called valet services outside outlets at Solaris Mont Kiara about it recently and was not shocked to hear him say that “semua sudah kau tim boss” (everything has been “settled”).

This probably explains why all such jaga kereta boys do not bat an eyelid and go on with their business of extorting payments from motorists even when the cops zoom past on their routine patrols.

Some may find my lack of faith in the authorities ever doing anything about this jaga kereta menace disturbing, but that is the reality of the situation which city dwellers are facing.

The question that the police and other authorities must answer is what exactly are they doing to put an end to the jaga kereta menace once and for all.

Surely, it cannot be all that difficult to nab culprits who are openly hijacking council lots and threatening people to pay mind-boggling sums while disguising their operations as “valet services”.

But then again, maybe it is.

Who knows whether those entrusted to protect and serve are subscribing to Obi Wan Kenobi, who said:

“Your eyes can deceive you. Don’t trust them.”

Therefore, the authorities who can actually do something about the menace do not believe what they can clearly see happening all over the city, and this allows the thugs to blatantly bully others into submission.

  

The writer is a journalist who feels less talk and more action is needed to save planet earth from mankind

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