Friday, December 21, 2012

Icing The AES?

The manner in which the authorities were trying to ram through the implementation of the Automated Enforcement System (AES) to catch speedsters, is symptomatic of the arrogance of the Umno led government.

Presenting as fait accompli something that affects the public, with nary a concern or consultation with them.

But what rankles the Malaysian public is the question why something that is the responsibility of the state - traffic law enforcement - should be farmed out to the private sector, in particular, to two companies allegedly connected to the Umno led government.

These companies stand to make millions if not billions from their share of the fines recovered from the summons issued.

On costs alone, it seems that the installation of the 831 speed-trap cameras would come to some 700-800 million ringgit, that is, at something easily like 800,000 ringgit each! These cameras must be made of gold!

What happens then, to the police's own stock of 3000 speed-trap cameras?  Aren't the police able to do their job?  Won't there be wasteful and troubling duplication especially as it seems that the police themselves would place some of these cameras close to those of AES cameras?!

What was the rationale then for the government to want to rush the AES? Your guess may be as good as mine. Another cash cow for the milking?

Apart from the costs involved, which ultimately the Malaysian public would have to bear, are there not legal issues involved in privatisng traffic law enforcement?

Do the private companies have the authority to issue traffic tickets? Is there is a law authorising them to do so? Or is the whole thing being done via what they call subsidiary legislation, by way of a ministerial order under the Road Transport Act perhaps?

We are talking about law enforcement which should rightly be the province of the state, which must be guarded jealously; delegation of power when it comes to enforcement of public law should not be farmed out to the private sector and done cavalierly by way of delegated legislation.

Have the authorities bothered to consider all the possible legal, apart from the moral, implications involved before trying to ram through the implementation of AES?

It is not enough that the AG has said that the enforcement of AES is suspended for the moment.

The public perceive the whole thing as a scam and it should be shelved altogether.

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