Thursday 18 October 2012

PCM wants AES scrapped

Any project that brings gain to private companies at the rakyat’s expense 
must be withdrawn, says PCM.

GEORGE TOWN: Parti Cinta Malaysia (PCM) has slammed the Automated Enforcement System (AES) as a “rob Peter to pay Paul” traffic enforcement policy and wants it to be withdrawn immediately.

PCM vice-president Huan Cheng Guan said PCM strongly objected the implementation of AES camera system because far beyond the supposed motive to save lives by reducing accidents, the system was actually robbing the people to feed crony companies.

He questioned the rationale to rake up expenses to change people’s mindsets on speeding in such a way that the monetary benefits go to contract holders.

“How can a system that aims to be a life-saver camouflage itself as a money spinner for those who reap profits?

“AES implementation is clearly profit-oriented, not people-centric.

“Many discrepancies about the project give valid grounds for it to be withdrawn as soon as possible,” he said in a statement here today.

Hence, he calls on the relevant authorities to withdraw it immediately and nullify the 60,000 traffic offenders identified through the system so far.

AES is being implemented to nab traffic offenders especially speedsters and those who beat the traffic lights.

Huan pointed out that ATES Sdn Bhd and Beta Tegap Sdn Bhd, which won the contract to implement AES, have claimed that it cost between RM600 million and RM800 million to install 831 cameras in traffic hotspots nationwide.

It works out to an absurd average between RM722, 000 and RM962, 000 per camera.

Huan said the companies were expected to earn RM700 million annually from the pool of settled summonses issued to errant road users.

“Is it justified that a system that supposedly saves lives put undue stress and financial burden on the ordinary rakyat and diverts huge profits into the coffers of the crony companies?

“This is robbing Peter to pay Paul in broad daylight!” rebuked Huan.

He recalled that many had objected the implementation of AES 10 years ago because it was perceived that the contract holders would enjoy advantages through a three-tiered system paid out from a pool of settled summons.

Under the plan, the companies would gain RM16 for each of the first five million summons paid by traffic offenders in the first tier, which would total to some RM80 million.

In the second tier, the two companies stand to gain up to RM270 million as they will be awarded half of the revenue collected; and 7.5 per cent of the remaining revenue under tier 3.

“Any project that brings gain to private companies at the rakyat’s expense must be withdrawn.

“The private companies will be the happy ones laughing all the way to the bank,” said Huan.

He said AES would not necessarily be successful in Malaysia just because it was effective in China and Europe due to differences in socio-economic and demographic landscapes of each country.

He suggested for the authorities to better use the RM600 to RM800 million for nation building and to train vehicle users to be responsible via lower cost programmes that would yield maximum returns in results.

“It’s illogical to spend so much money without succeeding in changing the perspectives and habits of Malaysian drivers,” he said

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