Cancellation of AES summonses not a licence to speed: Anthony Loke

Azura Abas, Irwan Shafrizan Ismail

PUTRAJAYA: Motorists have been warned to keep to the speed limit following the government’s decision to cancel Automated Enforcement System (AES) summons before Sept 1.

Transport Minister Anthony Loke said although vehicles caught speeding via AES cameras until the end of the month would not be penalised, police speed traps were still operational.

“I have instructed the Road Transport Department director-general last week to get in touch with the police, requesting for the police to intensify their enforcement to catch these speed demons in the next two weeks,” he told reporters today.

He also told his detractors who had accused him and the government to be “wussy” for cancelling the unpaid 3.1 unpaid AES summons worth RM435 million, that they would change their tune come Sept 1.

“Don’t say after Sept 1 that I am harsh and merciless. We are in the midst of fine tuning the AES enforcement including the summons rate that I will announce later,” he added.

It was reported on Friday that a total of 3.1 million Automated Enforcement System (AES) summons worth RM435 million, from 2012 to Aug 31, 2018, would be cancelled.

Loke had said as part of the Pakatan Harapan’s 100-day pledge, the Cabinet has decided that the summons since 2012 would be wiped out totally.

However, beginning Sept 1, he stressed that there would no such discounts, adding that this cancellation is a one-off deal.

For the next five years under the PH government, Loke vowed, there would not be a second time.

The minister also took a swipe at those who criticised the government for cancelling the AES summons, especially the MCA leaders.

“In principle, we cannot accept such a lopsided agreement made between the previous government with the two concessionaires, ATES Sdn Bhd and Beta Tegap Sdn Bhd.

“There are two tiers of payment made to these two companies. Under tier 1, the government pays RM16 for every summons issued. For tier 2 payment, 50 per cent of the collected summons at the rate of RM300 each is paid to the companies.”

He said the PH government could not accept the move to privatise enforcement because the government will get the short end of the deal.

In this respect, Loke said he can accept criticisms from anyone but the MCA leaders.

He claimed that this was due to the fact that it was an MCA leader himself who had helmed the Transport Ministry when the AES came into force, which resulted in the unsettled AES issues.

“Only fools will sign such (a lopsided) agreement. Please use your brain before you talk, as it will reflect poorly on MCA,” he said.

After Sept 1, when RTD takes over the AES operation, Loke said the AES cameras would be installed at locations as recommended by the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research.

Currently, there are 38 AES cameras in operation, seven are being calibrated and two are in the process of being installed. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd