No Parking

Parking War in Kota Kinabalu City

According to Nielsen Global Survey of Automotive Demand, almost every Malaysian owns a car, the third highest rate of car ownership in the world. Kota Kinabalu City (KK) has a population of over 600,000, imagine what it is like when half a million cars compete for 10,314 public parking lots (exclude private parking spaces) in and around KK every day.

No parking signs
Pic: No Parking, No Parking, No Parking… We mean it!

Inevitably parking has become a daily battle with local authority, ill-mannered motorists and even criminals. For my case, going to KK takes me only 20 minutes but finding a parking can take more than half an hour sometimes.

No-No parking zone
Pic: No-No Parking Zone = Yes? LOL

Yea city life is tough. In this article are just some trivia and interesting photos of parking in Sabah.

5 Most Annoying Parking Experience

Dealing with retarded and selfish people is unavoidable. Well, I’ll just laugh them off by looking at them in amusing way. Feel free to share your experience and photo in comment section too. 😀

Tour package to Mari-Mari Cultural Village

“No matter how well you dress, how expensive is your car, how decent you appear to others… How you park and drive reveals the true you, when you think no friend & relative are there to judge how you drive other nuts on the road.”

1. “Reserve” a Parking Space by Object

Some people would attempt any mean to reserve a parking lot, for example, placing an object to “book” the spot. Public parking lot is provided on 1st-come-1st-serve basis, so it’s illegal to block others from using it. For shop / individual that needs this public space for their business (e.g. car washing, cafe), they must rent the space from DBKK (and the monthly fee isn’t cheap).

block the parking with tree branch

Decade ago, after you parked your car, a street kid would approach you asking for “protection fee”, or a foreigner carried a bucket of water offering lousy car cleaning service. If you refused to give what they wanted, you would find scratches on your car later. Luckily, it’s no longer happening in KK.

2. Jaywalking Pedestrians

Be careful in your reverse parking. There are always some idiots who are oblivious of the reverse signal and walk pass your rear while your car is moving. It’s a miracle that such morons can live more than 20 years old. I hope they won’t breed.

occupy parking lot with chair
You can easily tell if a person is a loser by looking at the way s/he walks and cross the street. Stay away from them because they always blame others.

3. Non-Stop False Alarm

Out of the blue a car alarm could set off for no reason, its 200-decibel siren can go on for hour and the owner is missing in action. The repeating high-pitch noise is a mental torture to everyone living or working nearby.

4WD parking on island

They better stop using those hypersensitive alarm that is program to prevent mosquito from stealing their car, or nobody will bother to check, when the real car thief breaks in next time.

4. Slow Loris

While leaving, if I notice any car waiting for my parking spot, I’ll start my car and leave as soon as I can. But not everyone does the same. It is truly frustrating when someone dilly-dally (taking time to check their phone and touch up their lipstick, etc) before starting the engine and leave, though they can see you waiting.

bad parking
Pic: Thinking outside the box is good. Parking outside the box is #fail #parking. In fact, traffic police can compound this car RM70 for improper parking.

I don’t mean to be sexist, but in my experience it’s always women. People will see you as a beautiful person if you are considerate and thoughtful, so you can save your make-up for later then.

5. Double-Parking

I can hear the loud YES in your mind. Do these selfish motorists think their fathers own the road?

hogging two parking spots
Pic: hogging two… no, three parking spots

Double Parking happens everyday, everywhere in KK because of lack of enforcement. Since our Uncle Police is always busy escorting VIP convoy, I’ll be more than happy to lend a hand. If they give me the right to issue summons to these cockroach motorists, I’ll do it for FREE. Double parking is simply an act of selfish and laziness. If we are willing to park further away, we never need to double park.

note for driver of bad parking
Photo Source: Sabah hitzFM Facebook

Come on lah, if you must double park, at least leave a phone number on your dashboard, so the “victim” can call you to move your car away. It’s so irritating to honk a long time but the owner is nowhere to be seen. I would be lucky if the car didn’t have its handbrake on, so I could push it aside.

Not everyone is kind to write you an educational note. One day you will get karma for bad parking, like this video (frankly I also feel the impulse to do the same thing). I know this is wrong, but sorry I have no compassion to what happened to that car. This is a good message to those suckers who like to double park.

chicken in parking lot
chicken in parking lot

I did ask Uncle Police how to deal with double parking. One of them says we can call 088-310273 (traffic police in KK) and a traffic police will issue a RM100 summon to the motorist who blocks your car. Unfortunately, we can’t request them to tow away the stupid car, unless it obstructs the road.

Leave Nothing (and Nobody) in your Car

Isn’t it a common sense not to leave anything in our car to prevent break-in? There have been news like burglar stole a quarter million of cash left in the vehicle. As there are so many fools in KK, I did seriously consider thievery a better career.

parking reserved by police

Many locals still have the attitude like “Oh, don’t worry, it’s just a briefcase with office documents, nothing valuable”. But to thief, this might be a treasure chest with laptop, wallet or phone inside. They are even willing to smash car window just for a few coins, like what happened to my friend, who cried, “You only want the coins mah, I give you lah! Why broke my window?”

cart in parking space
In another case, a car of my female friend broke down. A group of “friendly” people came to help. She was so happy and thought she was hot, then she found that her wallet and handphone on the dashboard went missing.

block parking with chair
chair with parking ticket
Pic: reserved parking lot with tickets, look fair.

I also heard many cases that people left their car unlocked for only a few minutes then their car was hijacked.

parking for VVIP
VIP meaning
Losing money or your car is bad enough, but the worst thing is when your car disappears with your child. I guess you still remember the shocking news of You-You, a 3-year-old boy who was abducted in the car left by his father at a petrol station in Kampung Air last year. The car was found but the boy vanished until today.

no parking for motorcycle
Negligent parents can be sued under Child Act if they leave their kid in the car. Just for a few minutes of convenience, you would regret for life. Sadly, history teaches us that similar tragedy will happen again.

Park at your Own Risk?

Some private car parks put up a “Park at your Own Risk” exemption clause at their entrance or have it printed on parking ticket. Based on Consumer Protection Act 1999, if car park operators charge you for using their parking space, they are liable to any damages to vehicles parked in their premises.

limited parking space

For many years consumers had been fooled by car operators this way, until 24 Apr 2009, a magistrates court in Penang ordered a car park operator to pay a lawyer RM1,668 for items stolen from his car parked at an open air car park near Komtar. Knowledge is Power indeed.

“Park at your own risk”? Let’s listen what these Malaysian lawyers say.

no parking for butt

If your car park operator refuses to take responsibility for any damages to your vehicles while parked in their premises, you can complain to Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism (MDTCC). You should also lodge a police report for your loses, and document the incident (e.g. photos, parking ticket).

pigeons on the car
Pic: I sincerely hope this is not your car. It’s really a nightmare. Stop feeding pigeons, they are city rats with wings.

However, you should avoid making your car a promising target, leave nothing in your car. Probably the car park operator would compensate for your stolen items and broken window, but you won’t get any profit either, it’s troubling both sides only.

no parking on drain cover

Ladies’ Parking

Car park is a dangerous place for ladies. I know one shopping mall in KK has malfunction CCTVs, they never fix it and they always fail to prevent the repeating crimes. Their security guards are also no useful than scarecrow.

ladies parking
Abduction has been happening in car parks of Peninsular Malaysia and the victims were robbed, raped or murdered (or all of the above).

parking space for lady
Pic: Ladies’ Parking Zone in 1Borneo Shopping Mall

lady parking lot

Some car park operators have demarcated a “Lady Only” parking zone for female drivers. Anyway, you should take charge of your security. Be vigilant and don’t let your guard down. Once you get on your car, lock the doors immediately. If we don’t care about our safety, no others would.

Coupon Parking System of KK

Do you like the new Coupon Parking System (CPS) introduced by DBKK in Oct 2014? Well, I guess nobody is happy until parking is free. 🙂

Coupon Parking System of Kota Kinabalu City Hall (DBKK)
At first I didn’t like the idea of “scratch and park” prepaid ticket. In fact, this DIY approach eliminates my need to keep track of all unpaid parking tickets (tedious!). It works better for me this way.

parking tickets on dashboard
Pic: I hope there is a better way to display the parking coupons, it looks so untidy on the dashboard.

My only complaints are – the system uses too many paper, and sometimes it’s hard to estimate how long I would park at a place. I learnt from a news that DBKK has 6,951 green, 3,081 yellow and 282 red parking lots. Out of curiosity, I did a simple calculation and estimate DBKK can make RM1.8 million of revenue from parking monthly, WOW!

parking tickets

However, don’t take this as an official figure ok, they may not make that much because many people disregard parking fee. Some of my friends never pay a cent for many years and nothing bad happens to them (that’s a saving of a few thousands!). In the past, DBKK tried different fruitless measures such as wheel-clamp and blocking the road tax renewal. In short, they can’t do much about it (please correct me if I’m wrong). The only problem I see is – you may have problem to sell your old car if the potential buyer doesn’t want to take over your mess (parking debt and penalty).

FYI, you can check your “debt” online with DBKK at It’s your call whether you want to challenge DBKK. For me, I just pay for peace of mind.


Have you paid your long overdue summon? Or Uncle Police will knock your door and invite you for a cup of bitter coffee.

Malaysia traffic police on a bike

In the past, they always offered amnesty period with deep discount to those motorists who refused to pay the fine, making good citizens who paid on time looked so stupid. This time, instead of giving discount, they will give stubborn people a handcuff.

motorbike of traffic police
FYI, you can check your PDRM (police) and JPJ summon online at MyEG. It took me only 2 minutes to register and login to check, it’s free and worked perfectly.

Photos taken in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo

15 thoughts on “Parking War in Kota Kinabalu City

  1. Yeah.. agree. Last year winner got bigger crown !

    Must be an upset cos I dun think she is the favourite to win.

    This is the first time in 4 years i missed the state level unduk ngadau. I wonder what happened to the favourite unduk ngadau .

  2. Who’s the favourite? Dorithy of Lahad Datu? From purely physical POV, she’s probably the best, but after two attempts (afaik) + dewi remaja, she still couldnt make the top. something wrong somewhere…

  3. i sae Devenna’s natural look photo in the sabah times today.. man she looks hot!!! way way way too much make up is used in this competition.

  4. Yep! I agreed w u Tradewind!

    Make-up can tell the lies..
    But, it’s a must for the ladies in UN..

    Why dun u submit the photo + the article from the Sabah Times..

    We are curious to see it!

  5. yea me too agree wif u all.. bcuz davenna is my junior… n i knew her since form 2, she is a very gud-looking gurl, down to earth n most of all very holy one hehehe… i wonder wat will happen to her bcuz she intend to enter lower 6 in her previous skewl ( also mine la hehe ) n become a teacher… herm… anyway i wish her all d luck in her future journey! herm.. ok chiaoo…~~

    p/s : aduuii y her crown so tiny oo???

  6. arlene, according to the newspaper article she is still in form 6 in sm lok yuk, if i am not mistaken. sugarbabe.. i will try grab the photo and pass it to old smokehead to publish.
    she looks sooo much more 100% natural is the newsprint black n white

  7. hmm…ok what the unduk ngadau 2006 but it just that i don’t like the tiny crown..why no grand??last time madelynn’s crown was big…but this year..look ordinary..i think daerah unduk ngadau’s crown more bigger in some district..hmm??

  8. Yea.. It was a greatto hear that Tradewind..
    As well as Pinolobu..

    Dun u think.. KDCA is thighten up their budget to get the bigger crown for the winner..

    It hapen only once in the year of 2006..
    Pity huh..
    At least, they can borrow from Magdeline’s crown for a while..
    hmmm.. for photo shot session!
    Tht was the greatest moment in her life beating-up w 45 ladies!

  9. yup tradewind… she is in form 6 in lok yuk, we just finished the orientation week in the previous week b4 the unduk ngadau competition.. hehe..

  10. Arlene, seems u both r frens, would it possible for u to show a piece of her natural looks..

    I do hv sum of my personal collection pics w dewi remaja.. we both grow in the same place, study in the same school & stay in the same roof b4.. Wat can I say? She’s a lady born with a luck!

    akakaka.. I just dun wish to expose it to the world!
    There’s sumthg we need to respect!

    -Idendity still annonymous! =)

  11. erm… she’s better than the other top15 at least… but something is wrong with this year’s unduk ngadau the judges were quite blind.. can u imagine they even picked a gal with incomplete kadazan costume? n there are alot more pretty girls didn’t make it to top15. and by the way m a friend with a gal that was rumoured to be married actually she’s engaged so again i think the judges and the organisers were not professional enough for this year so pathetic but i’m glad that devyna won coz she deserved it than the the rest of the top15.

  12. Smokehead: Bah.. I’m waiting and waiting to see the rest of the photos.. bila lah kau mau upload tu gambar? 😉

    Hopefully soon lah ok.. I’ll be away for a week and would be good to see it before I left..

    Bah.. cepat cepat lah kasi upload okie..

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