(Updated) AES summons from 2012 to Aug 31 wiped out

Hashini Kavishtri Kannan and Zanariah Abd Mutalib

PUTRAJAYA: A total of 3.1 million Automated Enforcement System (AES) summons worth RM435 million will be canceled as of Aug 31.

Transport Minister Anthony Loke said as part of the Pakatan Harapan's 100-day pledge, the cabinet today had decided that summons since 2012 will be wiped out totally.

"In conjunction with the upcoming Hari Raya Haji, we have decided to 'korban' (sacrifice) the RM435 million.

"And starting Sept 1, there will not be such discounts. This is just a one-off.

"For the next five years under the Pakatan Harapan government there will not be a second time," he told a press conference today.

He, however, said there won't be any refunds made to some 659,934 summons which were already paid.

"I'm sorry to say that there won't be any refund for those who have paid as the government can't afford it. In the spirit of 'korban', those who have paid have to 'korban' what you have paid," he added.

Explaining further, Loke said the cabinet also decided that the government would take over the operation of AES from the two concession companies; ATES and Beta Tegap.

"Therefore the two companies' contracts which are coming to an end on Aug 31, will not be renewed.

"The Road and Transport Department (RTD) will also fully take over the installation of cameras and the issuing of summons as of Sept 1," he said.

He added that in 2015, the previous government had decided that the Armed Forces Fund Board (LTAT) through Irat Properties Sdn Bhd had paid a total of RM550 million to take over the two concession companies to run the AES operations.

These companies had no other assets but 40 cameras, he said.

"This is not fair to the military personnel, therefore the government has decided to pay the money back to LTAT and this will be done in stages.

"We will conduct discussions with the Finance Ministry and the Defence Ministry as well as LTAT to decide on how the money could be paid in stages," he added.

When asked on the cost of operations of taking over AES, he said it will be discussed.

"But I can assure you that summons paid will be channeled to the government fund, unlike previously which was used to pay the concession companies," he added.

Meanwhile, Loke said discussion will also conducted with the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros) on the continuation and installation of AES cameras especially in accident-prone areas.

Separately, he said the cabinet also decided to postpone the eCall system which was supposed to be implemented in July 2019.

"This was decided after considering the grouses of car manufacturers who are not ready for the new system. This is also to avoid hike in car prices," he added.

The eCall system was supposed to automatically send an SOS signal to MERS 999 (Malaysian Emergency Response Services), which will forward the call to relevant emergency agencies in the event of an accident. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd