From ‘Confessions:Celeb blogger parked at handicap lot deliberately’, 23 March 2013, article in asiaone.com
In a Facebook confession reported by Stomp recently, local blogger and model Peggy Heng talks about parking at a handicapped lot because the rest of the lots had been taken up by illegally parked cars. In an earlier report, the blogger had drawn criticism when she produced a video to promote a dating event. She then gained attention again after undergoing plastic surgery to further her career.
A Stomp reader Kelly saw Peggy’s facebook posting and said:
“Blogger Peggy Heng proudly declared parking at a handicapped lot.”
Here is the full post on Peggy’s facebook page:
“Parking at the handicapped lot at my house carpark now because of too many cars parking illegally here (even when only season parking is allowed for overnight). “I’ve been too kind… As much as I can, I try to refrain from calling the authorities to do something about it. “But these inconsiderate people just gotta go all out and leave me with not even ONE lot around the blocks. “Good luck and happy summon day “
Peggy later published a furious ‘clarification’ to explain how she had sought permission by the HDB to park in that ‘stupid handicapped lot’ and that she was entitled to a parking space being a season parking holder. Having returned home at 3 am I’d suppose if you’re desperate for a bath and sleep, an empty slot usually reserved for the disabled is as tantalising as a warm bed. But probably not as irresistible as posting about it on Facebook.
Most people wouldn’t brag about how they scored a handicapped lot. For one, it makes you look like an uncaring swine. Second, even if forced by circumstance to park in a disabled lot (if you see smoke coming out of your house), at the risk of being fined $50 for it, you should have the decency to repark your car the very next morning and keep your fingers crossed that nobody noticed for that short few hours. It’s possible that not a single disabled person in your neighbourhood drives, though you’d still need a mandatory space to allow for that occasional one popping by for a visit.
According to the Code on Accessibility, that’s about 1 disabled spot for every 50 lots. For some, a fine isn’t a sufficient deterrent because rich Mercedes motorists can easily afford it. Some are also known to reuse handicapped labels once they’ve recovered mobility, or create their own fake labels altogether. It may not even be inconsiderate or imposter drivers; you could have rubbish bins or panel railings blocking the area, defeating the purpose of disabled lots in the first place. It would also be awkward if you’re forced to park your wedding limo in a disabled lot while picking up your bride, only to come back to the sight of someone threatening to smash your windows with crutches. You also wouldn’t want to run into trouble with THIS guy below. Yes, the one with arm tattoos.
Illegal parking aside, the other bane of civility is the abuse of disabled toilets. Statistically speaking, the chance of a disabled person using a toilet is higher than one parking a car. The intrusion into one’s intimate right to relieve oneself is as mean as taking his rightful parking space or priority seat. It’s probably OK to use handicapped loos if you’re about to shit your pants or you need to get changed quickly and the rest of the cubicles are either occupied or choked with stinky floaters. But more often than not disabled, spacious toilets are used more for a different sort of relief (the sexual kind) than that which they’re intended for, yet people get fined for stealing parking spaces, but get off scot-free for doing their dirty business on toilet seats and grab bars other than taking a dump. You may not get fined for sleeping on priority seats, but your reputation may be ruined forever.
Some people, never having to hobble around on one leg in their entire lives, question why the disabled should be given so much love and attention when it comes to toilets. It’s an unsympathetic, economical question to ask, none delivered with more fine cussing than another celebrity blogger, Xiaxue. In a controversial 2005 post about her brother getting blasted by someone in the disabled loo, she asked:
So tell me … our government spent millions of taxpayers’ money to build so many facilities for the physically disabled, and only they are allowed to use it?
Exclusive use would be possible if we didn’t have so many damn people around. We tend to forget that these disabled may not be permanently so; anyone of us would rue the day we hogged such spaces for our own selfish ends when we fracture a femur or suffer blisters on all our toes. Enforcement can only do so much to create the inclusive society that we are so fond of promoting. In a ‘me-first’, overcrowded Singapore that is hooked on automobiles despite an extensive network of public transport, we still have plenty to catch up in terms of graciousness. I believe the disabled and the able-bodied can get along and share public spaces with a little give and take; If I’m wheelchair bound I wouldn’t mow down kids playing on the MRT ramp when they should jolly well use the steps. Likewise, if I’m an able person and someone with their entire head in a cast asks if he could cut my taxi queue, I would gladly oblige. Let’s not argue about entitlements to the point that our infirmed start rigging their wheelchairs with battering rams and flamethrowers shall we.