Joo Chiat drama: Woman kneels in carpark after car gets clamped (or on bended knee, she saved $100)

The real drama and the song I imagine she was singing while she's kneeling & crying. Heh. Am I evil (of course, I am definitely not going to be one of those good samaritans who'll give her a money to have her car unclamped. Why should I? I'm no car driver, myself. So there!)

Mister...I, I can't explain,
Why did I park this way,
'But it's driving me insane.
And I know I just need one more chance,
To prove I no money.
And if you come back to me,
I'll guarantee,
That I'll still be kneeling here.

Heh. Sorry. The lyrics above are much inspired by this song by BoysII Men, "On Bended Knee".

The second part of her "Cry of Sorrow on Bended Knee (Letting go $100 is a hard thing to do)" would be inspired by "I'm Sailing". So imagine the tune (just go to YouTube, will you?!):

I am crying, I am crying,
Still right here, you can see.
I am crying, really bo chap,
To save money, to be free!!

And the last part of her 'song' can be using the tune of U2's Vertigo:

Hello, Hello (¡Hola!)
I'm at a place called Joo Chiat Road (¿Dónde está?)
It's somewhere I wish I had not parked
Because you clamped my poor car right away,

THE sign at the private carpark at Joo Chiat Road states clearly that unauthorised cars that park there would be wheel-clamped.

Not only did a woman driver ignore the sign and park her car there for almost three hours, she refused to pay the $100 fee to have her car unclamped when the inevitable happened.

Worse, she started crying and kneeling down in front of the parking attendant, and begged him to let her off the hook.

And she did it for a full 30 minutes until some sympathetic passers-by pooled their money to pay the fee for her.

All these antics came from a woman who can afford to drive a mid-range continental car and employ a domestic helper - just to escape paying $100 for something she did wrong in the first place.

Her actions have resulted in the 58-year-old attendant, who wanted to be known only as Mr Teng, being labelled as uncompassionate and heartless - for doing his job.

Mr Teng does not dispute the claims that he was unmoved by her tears and had even watched her cry as she knelt in front of him.

He said he was annoyed with the woman because she refused to give him the $100 to unclamp her car.

He said he had no sympathy because he believed it was just all an act from her, since she had initially held out two $50 notes but refused to give it to him.

The woman, whom he said looked to be in her 30s, had tried to pull her "pitiful" act even before she started kneeling, he said.

Mr Teng told The New Paper in Mandarin: "She was crying for a long time."

He said that even if he felt sorry for her, he could not unclamp the wheel without charging her since he had already issued the notice.

If he had let her off, he would have had to account for the $100 feeand pay it out of hisownpocket.

Only residents and patrons of the row of shophouses along the carpark are allowed to park there.

It began at 7.10pm on Sunday when Mr Teng noticed a car with an unfamiliar licence plate in the carpark managed by Bronsan Inters-furni Contracts & Services.

At the car park's entrance and the exit are signs stating: "Unauthorised parking will be wheel clamped without prior notice."

The signs also clearly state that the carpark is private property, and that the release fee for the wheel clamp is $100.

After checking that the car did not belong to a customer of any of the shops there, including the I Love U KTV Pub, he placed a warning notice under a windshield wiper.

He returned about 15 minutes later and found the car still parked.


According to protocol, Mr Teng is required to give a 15-minute grace period before clamping an illegally parked vehicle. He must also take a photograph (with a time stamp) to showthe time he clamped the vehicle.

In the woman's case, the photo showed that it was 7.29pm. He then went about his duties and received a call from the woman at 9.06pm.

She had called the number written on the notice.

When he returned to the carpark, he told the womanwhyhehad clamped her car.

Mr Teng claimed that the woman acknowledged her mistake and hewrote out a receipt for the $100 fee.

She held out two $50 notes but refused to release her grip whe nhe tried to take them.

Not wanting to create a scene, he let go of the notes.

"I told her that I had no time to play because I needed to patrol the other places," Mr Teng said.

He is required to patrol four carparks in the area so heis always on the move, he said.

He warned her that the management had the authority to tow away her car if she left it there for more than three hours, and that she would have to bear the cost.

Mr Teng claimed that he spoke politely to her throughout their encounter.

While speaking to her, he said he noticed three boys and a girl playing with the wheel clamp as a domestic helper stood nearby.

After he told her that her car could be towed away, he heard the woman tell her maid to take the children home.

What happened next shocked him. As soon the children and maid were out of sight, the woman started crying.

After a short while, Mr Teng decided to go about his duties.

"When I came back after about 20 minutes, she was still there crying. Then she started kneeling.

"So I sat on a chair outside the KTV and watched her. You can't expectmeto be moved by her tears. I am only doing my job. If I help her, who's going to help me if I lose my job?"

Mr YH Lim, who is in charge of the estate management committee, confirmed the management would find out if Mr Teng had released a vehicle without collecting the $100 penalty.

This is because warning notices and receipts are numbered in sequence.

But some regulars at the KTV pub felt sorry for the woman.

Mr Daniel Goh, 42, who works in sales, was in the pub when his friend, who arrived at about 9.45pm, told him about a woman kneeling on the road.

After the pub staff told him she had been kneeling for half an hour, he went out to check on her.

Said Mr Goh: "It was a pitiful sight. She was begging the attendant to unclamp her wheel but he didn't care."

The sight of her tears as she knelt beside her dark blue Opel Vectra GTS touched Mr Goh and his four friends so much that they chipped in to pay the $100 fee.

"Initially, the carpark attendant did not want to accept our money. But after one of my friends told him off, he agreed.

"If anyone else saw it, I think they would have helped her too," said Mr Goh.

Shocked that she had money

He said the woman offered to return the money to him another day, but they told her it wasn't necessary and asked her to get up and leave.

When TNP told Mr Goh about Mr Teng's claim that the woman had the $100 to pay the fee, he was shocked.

He said: "If she had money in the first place, why did she want to kneel there and look like a stupid fool?"

He did not want to comment on whether he would still have helped her.

After Shin Min Daily News reported on the incident on Monday, readers called to claim that Mr Teng was notorious for being mean.

Mr Goh also said he had heard stories that Mr Teng was unreasonable.

Staff from the pub said that Mr Teng would "hide" inside the pub - sitting at a table behind a one-way glass pane that gave a view of the carpark - so he could pounce on illegally parked cars.

They also claimed that he is fierce and does not give offenders a second chance.

When told of the accusations, Mr Teng became upset and reiterated that he is merely doing his job.

Contrary to what some pub workers and regulars had told TNP, he said that he earns a fixed wage as a part-time worker and does not get commission from clamping people's wheels.

He claimed: "They (Mr Goh and his friends) are unhappy that I clamped one of their cars before."

The estate management said the shophouses would go en bloc at the end of May, so only a few residents are still living there.

'You want to park, be prepared to pay'

HER tears may have persuaded five men to pool their money to pay the $100 fine to get her car unclamped.

But all 11 people The New Paper spoke to wouldn't be quite so easily swayed.

While none of them said that they would give her money,some said that they might offer her tissue paper to wipe away her tears or a mobile phone to call someone to bring her the cash.

Some laughed when told of the situation,and one even criticised her for crying.

The consensus was that the woman deserved to have her car wheel clamped.

Said full-time national serviceman Mr Davis Koh, 22: "I think the gentlemen did their part, but as for the lady, crying by the road and hoping for something to happen is childish."

He added that he would not give her any money as he did not believe that she could not afford to pay the $100 fine.

Real estate agent Michael Arriola, 48, agreed,and said: "Looking at the car she drives and the fact that she employs a domestic helper, I don't think she has trouble affording it.

"She knew the consequences. So she should pay for it herself."

Mr Arriola felt that if the woman had been driving a less expensive car, he might be inclined to help.

Bank officer Cynthia Wee, 47, felt that the woman should have been more mature about the situation.

She said: "Knowing that it is private property,why park there?

"If you want to park, be prepared to pay. We can't have mercy for such people.

"The attendant was just doing his job."

Equally unsympathetic was university student Wayne Chua, 24.

He said: "I got wheel-clamped before,and I had left my wallet in the office.

"So I just called my friends to bring me money."

From Asiaone, "Woman kneels in carpark after car gets clamped".


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