Bistek’s ‘crappy’ free parking ordinance
Certain assets of the Malaysian government valued at about US$1 billion are on the verge of being seized in the US after Department of Justice (DoJ) investigators claimed they are linked to an elaborate international money-laundering scheme.
In a slew of civil lawsuits, the US DoJ said some US$3.5 billion had earlier been misappropriated — some allegedly used to produce the Oscar-nominated Hollywood film “The Wolf of Wall Street” starring Leonardo DiCaprio — from the state investment fund 1MDB which was established in 2009 by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak (the principal backer of the ill-fated BBL which was rejected by Congress due to several unconstitutional provisions inserted by the MILF) whose advisory board he heads.
Wire reports said US prosecutors have set their sights on pricey real estate holdings in New York, Beverly Hills and London, valuable Van Gogh and Monet paintings as well as a private jet, all of which were allegedly acquired under questionable circumstances by relatives of a powerful Malaysian official with 1MDB funds.
The DoJ said in the lawsuits that some US$681 million from a bond sale in 2013 by the investment fund were funneled to the bank account of “a high-ranking official in the Malaysian government who also held a position of authority with 1MDB.”
US Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the money was allegedly stolen from 1MDB, deposited in shell companies in the USA and then used to buy several high-end properties and luxury items. She said the objective of Washington D.C. is to have the alleged stolen funds returned to Malaysia, which was defrauded by still-unnamed individuals on an enormous scale.
The lawsuits could potentially strain the existing cozy bilateral ties between the US and Malaysia. President Obama who has visited the country twice in the last two years, regards the prosperous country as a valuable partner in its fight against radical Islamists and part of the US’s strategic pivot to Asia to counter China’s rising regional ambitions.
1MDB is also reportedly being investigated for possible money laundering activities in Switzerland and Singapore. In Singapore, authorities seized US$177 million arising from “suspicious transactions” in three large financial institutions — the world’s largest private bank UBS AG, the British-based Standard Chartered Bank and local lender DBS Group Holdings Ltd.
Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista would probably be loathe to know that some people are treating the “Senior Citizen Free Parking Ordinance of 2011” like a sack of cow crap.
Metro Parking Management (Phils.) Inc. is a prime example of one such company that continues to deny senior citizens the benefits provided under the ordinance which Mayor Bautista signed in July 24, 2012.
Hey, is it not considered a crime if one disobeys a city law?
Under the provisions of said ordinance, all senior citizens are exempt from payment of parking fees in business establishments, shopping malls, hospitals, parking areas or similar places within the territorial limits of the city.
The ordinance was supposedly enacted by City Hall to maximize the benefits of senior citizens residing in the nation’s premier local government unit (as the honorable mayor likes to call it).
It also aims to encourage commercial establishments, as part of their corporate social responsibility, to support senior citizens in their leisure and mobility requirements.
However, a few hardheads — like Metro Parking Management — seem not to want any part of these laudable initiatives, in the pursuit of profits, which is why they have chosen to flaunt the law.
Metro Parking’s prevailing policy, which I found out the hard way, is to grant exemptions from the initial parking charge “for the first three hours” to the cars of senior citizens.
What’s really absurd is that this does not apply to motorcycles. In other words, senior citizens who arrive in motorcycles are charged the full applicable rate.
This policy is patently illegal, because a law cannot discriminate. Former Manila Mayor Fred Lim had a cool way of putting it: “The law applies to all or none at all.”
I’m thinking the firm’s officials should maybe be obliged to undergo a seminar to get acquainted with the concerned senior citizen city ordinance.
Or else, what good is an ordinance passed by the City Council if it disrespected?