No Offense, Guvnor

This morning me, the wife and his Babyness went to court.

For the first time.

Helpful tip for any readers who also happen to be violent, ruthless parking offenders:

The MBPJ Municipal Court is stealthily hidden from you as part of the state’s efforts to punish you even before you get sentenced. While we consider ourselves reasonably acquainted with PJ’s various delightful nooks and crannies, there apparently does exist a sub section of PJ intentionally and artfully positioned to be invisible up to the point you actually need to go there.

As mentioned, the Municipal Court is one of those places.

Some background: 2 years ago The Wife was working in a company that did not provide parking spaces for its employees. While there was a sizable shopping mall conveniently positioned nearby, employees who utilised the also-conveniently placed outdoor carpark had to walk through a relatively tight and claustrophobic construction area – which is fine if you’re a sweaty, overweight exec in need of losing 20 pounds; but not so if you’re a woman, and especially at night. Therefore, to preserve her safety and allow her to exit/enter work quickly, she did what all the other employees did: park at the roadside.

Needless to say, no good idea goes unpunished, as the summons arrived promptly, and was promptly forgotten. Fast forward two years, and the wheel of karma ensures we get the order for a court appointment – without an address. All we had to go on was the cryptic “Mahkamah Municipal MBPJ”. Always one to embrace a hidden clue, we donned our Da Vinci Code caps (MSRP 23.90, Amazon) and struck out looking for this magical place, hoping to arrive before the appointed time of “9.00” am.

We did in fact, arrive an hour before time – which ensured we had plenty of time to scope the place out, from the dingy, smelly entrance located conveniently between drains serving a mamak cafe and a whole floor of food courts to the forbidding looking small building marked with various admonitions to NOT offend the court, nor the magistrate.

Well, one thing was damn obvious – offending the actual citizens was apparently okay. Now, I’m all for paying your dues. You mess up, you own up and pay the price. Sure. It’s just that I’m sure the many colorful visitors to the MBPJ Municipal share my dismay at the complete lack of anything resembling a guide for first time offenders (I mean, if most of em are just guilty of a parking offense, couldn’t there have been a bloody flowchart?)

So there were a few other “invitees” milling around like chickens, smoking, poking their heads into the courtroom and generally acting as if they knew exactly what was going to happen. It’s one of those times where everyone has that same guarded look in their eyes, each and every one of them not admitting that they have no clue what they were supposed to do.

Come on, if the Jabatan Pendaftaran can have a flowchart, can’t our small courts do the same? Are they so understaffed and underbudgeted that the simplest bunting order from Ah Tuck Printers across the road near StanChart becomes insurmountable? And what is it with all those posters warning every single Tom, Dick, Harun and Susan to not offend the magistrate? Sure, we’d like to NOT offend him as well if we only knew how NOT to in the first place.

Damn, this is turning into a rant. But anyhow, if you’re one of those taxpayers who also received an invitation to the Municipal Court in PJ, just remember that it’s the same row as the Shah’s Village Motel and A&W. Then look for those drains.

Your nose won’t miss em, I promise.

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