Thursday, 21 January 2010

It's OK to Park Illegally...It's OK not to Pay for Parking

A couple of days ago, I went out for lunch with two friends (one of which is a student at the seminary where I am teaching). I needed to run some errands at the post office on the way to lunch. However, I missed the turning into the post office and had to make a U-turn further ahead. My student cheekily told me it was fine for me to park by the roadside and he could wait for me in the car while I ran into the post office instead of making a U-turn. I refused by telling him that I believed I was a law abiding citizen and would not park my car illegally by the roadside, even though it was for a few minutes.

After completing my errands at the post office, we drove to the restaurant for lunch, and I parked my car at a legal parking lot. While slotting coins into the meter, a gentleman who was eating by a window in a restaurant where I parked my car told me, "It's lunch hour, and the enforcement office is not around. So you don't have to pay for your parking. Why pay?"

All these two incidents happened within the span of half an hour, tempting me away from being a law abiding citizen. Is there a message for me? Am I so blind by living under the boundary of the law? Hmmm.....Is there grace under law?

10 comments:

Paul Long said...

Interesting. It is good that you have a tender conscience

I have had a couple of prominent church leaders (back in Malaysia and on different occasions) tell me that it is okay to speed and break the speed limit, as long as you are willing to pay the fine IF you get caught. *shudder*

Back then I disagreed as I still do but did not then have the courage and wisdom to add in a scenario like this: "What if you speed and are in an accident and kill someone?, what then?"

Sze Zeng said...

"So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law."

hahahaha

;)

Kar Yong said...

Hi Paul,
I wonder if we have fallen into the trap that it's ok to do what others do, never mind that it's wrong

Kar Yong said...

Hi Sze Zeng,
I wonder what would the New Perspective on Paul has to say about this?

Tony Siew said...

Kar Yong, I am like you. I am stickler to laws, no matter how small and insignificant for some. Thanks for sharing your experience.

Joshua, I hope my lectures on Galatians this morning did not confuse you (hahaha). Good to have your questions, though I might not have answered them well. A bit tired at the end of the class.

Paul Long said...

While I am quite strict in terms of following the law, I have issues with laws that I think are ethically questionable....there is to me a bigger issue at stake - that of what is ethical before God.

Some things to me are legal but not necessarily ethical and some things are illegal but not necessarily unethical.

But stuff like traffic laws etc seem to me to be pretty straightforward - they need to be adhered to.

P Y Chong said...

I think that it depends on the type of the law you are referring to. Some laws like traffic rules are there to promote order and to make things smooth for us. Just imagine if everyone parks his car illegally then there would be chaos and disorder. However, in Kar Yong's case, I would think it is alright for him to leave his car with his friend there for a few minutes for him to run his errands as long as he is obstructing no one and no chaos is caused. Most traffic officer would not issue a summons in Kar Yong's case as it would be unreasonable to do so. Some laws however are draconian in nature and unjust. In the case of an unjust law, I would think that in all good conscience we should not obey them but must speak out against them even if it means exposing us to persecution.

Esther said...

just my two cents' worth - I was told that in Malaysia, there is a "No Parking" rule, and a "Strictly No Parking" rule. For the first, you cannot park, but you can "wait." For the second, you cannot park or wait. Not sure if that is true. But if I'm wrong, then what's the difference between single white lines and double yellow lines on the road shoulders...?

As for parking - I agree with most of you there - unless the meter says there is no need to pay during lunchtime, we need to pay...

MC said...

Hi Dr Lim! Was checking out faculty blogs.

Tabik! Respect!

It's nice to know that there are others who are as 'skema' as I am when it comes to traffic laws. I've learnt that if we can numb our conscience to traffic laws, we will numb it to a whole lot of other stuff too...like STM 11pm curfew. ;p

Oh yeah, did you know that KB parking meters actually have a 5 minute grace period upon expiry?

會議 said...

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