Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Automated Enforcement System (AES) - Government not taking over but some NEW company, and there is no transparency because Official Secrets Act is being used

Automated Enforcement System (AES) 

1. It was wrong to privatize the AES systems to 2 private companies, and now the Malaysian government does not want to be transparent and disclose the said agreements in reliance of the Official Secrets Act - unacceptable. 

2. The government said that they would be taking over this AES - but now we see that it is not the government but a COMPANY (although now wholly owned by the government - but later we do not know..)

3. How much COMPENSATION would the government have to pay the original 2 companies when they break the agreement and take over the entire project which was projected to earn billions of ringgit in the 5 years. Looks like the Rakyat will again pay for the government blunder. I wonder whether there is a clause limiting the compensation in the event the government pre-maturely breaks the contract...or is there some formula in the agreement - we will not know until the government is transparent and disclose the said agreements.

4. The whole AES is about law enforcement - and this should ALWAYS be with the government. Enforcement with regard to traffic offences including 'speeding' must be done by the police or alternatively Transport Ministry officers(like JPJ).

5. If someone is caught 'speeding' then naturally they have the right to plead not guilty and claim trial. Now, who is going to prosecute - some private company officer?

6. It may be OK for the government to employ a private company to install the AES, and maybe even maintain - but certainly not for the purpose of enforcing the law, issuing summons, collecting FINES - which now is being called PROFITS or earnings. Enforcement, issuing summons and prosecution must always be with the Government - likewise the imposition and collection of fines...

7. Remember the TPPA - well if we sign, we may find that one day it will be a foreign company who is catching Malaysians for traffic offences, issuing summons and profiting from the collection of fines... OR is Malaysia going to say that this is an exception and it can only be 100% owned Malaysian company, or 100% owned by the government? 

8. A private company is a private company irrespective of whether it is owned by the government - and that is why the business of creating laws and law enforcement must always be with the government.

9. The New Straits Times heading "Govt assures transparency in AES take over" is misleading. Why? (1) The government is not taking over the AES - a Company is taking over the AES from 2 other companies. Wholly-owned by the government does not make it a government department/agency but still a company. (2) What transparency when the it is an 'official secret'? The appointed of an independent audit company to figure out how much compensation to be paid to the original 2 companies is not 'transparency', maybe a commitment to good governance - but which audit company? Would there be an open tender before the 'independent audit company' is chosen? Why only ONE - maybe we need 3? Will be informed about what was done and the results?

10. It was disgraceful hearing the Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi say that the rate would be increased based on the principle of "the more you delay, the more you pay" - that is totally wrong. He must be interested in the right to a fair trial and assure that no action would be taken until his right to trial/appeal is exhausted, and that the courts will decide on the sentence. 

11. How is it going to increase? Well, with regards to judgment sum, delay in payment would require the payment of interest at the rate of 8% per annum from the date of judgment. Likewise, until and after the alleged offender has admitted guilt or found guilty, that fine of RM150 should not be increasing - unless you are saying that once the AES catches you, you are guilty and that is right to a fair trial.

12. Suspension/revocation of license for repeat offenders should be only a sentence that the courts can give.

13. Reducing the proposed 'fine' to RM150, or reducing the number of cameras is not going to make the thinking man satisfied and happy.

** I was fortunate to catch the live broadcast when this question about AES was brought up in Parliament today, and the above opinion is based on what I saw and heard.

Govt assures transparency in AES take over

KUALA LUMPUR: The government has assured transparency in taking over the operation of the Automated Enforcement System (AES).

Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi said an independent audit firm had been appointed to ensure the payment was fair and reasonable.

"The total number of cameras installed has also been reduced to 310, as compared to about 800 proposed earlier as the company taking over is not profit-oriented," he said in reply to a supplementary question by Datuk Mahfuz Omar (PAS-Pokok Sena) at the Dewan Rakyat here today.

Mahfuz had asked the government to give details of the agreement in the takeover of the operation of the two companies which managed AES earlier, namely ATES Sdn Bhd and Beta Tegap Sdn Bhd, by a government-owned company, AES Solutions Sdn Bhd.

Abdul Aziz said no further clarification could be given on the takeover as it was subjected to the Official Secrets Act 1972.

Currently, 14 AES cameras are in operation nationwide, except in Malacca.

Earlier, when answering a question from Datuk Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim (BN-Baling) pertaining to a holistic operation and AES enforcement, Abdul Aziz said that effective Sept 18, the starting compound rate was RM150, depending on the level of seriousness of the offences committed.

He said the rate would be increased based on the principle of "the more you delay, the more you pay". -- BERNAMA - New Straits Times, 25/9/2013, Govt assures transparency in AES take over

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