Switch the Lights Back On at Neighbourhood Parks

LIGHTS have gone off at several neighbourhood parks in Subang Jaya and this has caused anxiety to rise among residents over the possibility of crime being carried out under the cover of darkness.

It is learned that several parks have had their flood lights switched off since June 1 2021 at the start of the Movement Control Order 3.0. Flood lights at parks normally come on at 7pm and go off by 7am daily.

Laman Putra Residents Association honorary secretary Adrian Looi took the Subang Jaya City Council to task over the matter for what he describes as irresponsible just to save a few bucks.

“Why have you turned off the lights at the parks in my neighbourhood of Jalan Putra Mahkota 7/2 and 7/3? “

“Both parks are now in total darkness and we are anxious about what people might be doing there in the cover of darkness,” he said. Both areas under the residents association have 710 households under them.

According to Adrian, there had been cases of people using the park in the past for immoral activities and even substance abuse. He said couples had been caught in close proximity and individuals have been caught drinking alcohol and other substances at the parks before.

“How are we to check if this is happening if the parks are now pitched dark? How are we to deter crime from happening in our neighbourhood at night if the lights are switched off?”

“When I lodged an online complain with MBSJ, this is the reply I received – Punca Utama: Dukacita dimaklumkan bahawa sepanjang tempoh PKP bermula dari 1.6.2021 hingga 14.6.2021, pihak majlis membuat keputusan untuk menutup sepenuhnya fasiliti taman awam termasuk kemudahan lampu taman/lampu limpah bagi mengekang penularan wabak covid-19. Kemudahan ini akan dinyalakan semula setelah pkp full lockdown ditamatkan pada masa akan datang,” he said.

Adrian said he dreaded to think of another two weeks of MCO 3.0 and what could happen at the parks which have now become conducive for immoral and illegal activities.

“Switch it back on! We know how to manage ourselves during the lockdown. The lights are important in deterring crime,” he said, adding that it gives him the creeps that someone can sit in the dark park and watch his home clearly without him ever noticing him.

This Adrian added this might invite more trouble other than burglary and robbery.

A check at USJ13 found the floodlights at all three parks in the neighbourhood had been switched off. However, people could be spotted lurking in the dark at the parks occasionally.

Incidentally, the country’s Safe City Program promotes initiatives to light up and brighten dark areas that become crime targets or crime spots.  

Subang Jaya OCPD ACP Abd Khalid Othman when contacted said switching off the lights at public parks would only deter residents who wanted to play football, basketball or to cycle around the park.

“The downside of switching off the lights – it will invite more immoral activities to be carried out at parks which are unlit. It will be conducive for groups of teenagers or even foreigners to gather for drinks.”

“With the park in the dark, the community cannot see what’s happening at the padang and this means they cannot alert the police of this things happening in their neighbourhood,” he said.

Abd Khalid said parks which are well lit will make it easier for the police to spot any violations of MCO SOPS during the night.

“The community plays a big role with the police in monitoring compliance of the SOPs during this pandemic. Having the lights on will make it possible for the community and police to monitor their parks and surroundings.”

“During the day, the community works with the police to monitor activities at the parks. They will whatsapp us information if they see anyone not complying with the SOPs,” he added.

Abd Khalid said many government agencies including MBSJ had been given the powers to issue compounds for violations of the MCO SOPs.

For Subang Jaya Police District, the public can call 03-56210343 (24 hours).

For MBSJ Command Centre for Covid-19 related matters, the public can call 03-80247770 8am to 5pm daily from Mondays to Fridays