"I think (Transport Minister) Kong Cho Ha has got the wrong end of the tail. What benefit do you get after five years?" Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng asked today.
"Do you want outdated and obsolete technology? Something is wrong with Kong," Lim told a press conference at the Parliament lobby this afternoon.
Lim was responding to a Sin Chew Daily report today quoting Kong as saying that the controversial camera system would be passed on to the government after five years of operation.
Two private companies, Beta Tegap Sdn Bhd and ATES Sdn Bhd, have been commissioned by the government to set up the camera system to trap traffic offenders in exchange for a cut of the summonses issued.
Penang agrees 'in principle'
Lim, who is also Bagan MP, said ultimately, the companies would be letting go of the old cameras after raking huge profits from the system.
As head of government in Penang, he said, he agreed with principle that the AES system be implemented at traffic lights to catch those who jump the red light.
However, he said, the profit element for the private companies in the summons system had rendered it unacceptable to Pakatan Rakyat.
As for the speed-based AES, Lim said Pakatan was firmly opposed to it until a proper review was conducted.
"The speed limits for certain stretches of roads have become impractical because they were set 20 or 30 years ago, so these can be adjusted accordingly," he said.
'Summonses to come after election?'
He also queried why, despite an estimated 100,000 summonses having been recorded, none of them had been sent to the offenders.
"There have been many flashes (from the cameras), but none of the summonses have arrived. Are they waiting to send them only after the general election?" Lim asked, noting that the system had caused anger among voters.
He said Pakatan's move to postpone the implementation of the system was expected to throw a spanner into the government's plan to install 831 cameras nationwide, since about 40 percent or 331 cameras would be located in Pakatan-held states.
Asked whether Pakatan Rakyat had the power to stop the installation of the AES on federal roads, Beruas MP Ngeh Koo Ham insisted that state and local governments had such power.
"Land issues come under the state authority. Any structure that you want to construct must receive approval from the state and local authorities. This is this is the law,” Ngeh said.
Adding on, Pokok Sena MP Mahfuz Omar (above) said Kong's justification that the AES would help reduce corruption cases among traffic police was an insult to the force.
"This is an insult to the police. Kong is assuming that the police are inherently corrupt," Mahfuz said.