KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 13 — Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail has admitted there are weaknesses in the controversial Automated Enforcement System (AES) to nab traffic offenders, but said his office was still in discussions over how to resolve the matter.
In a report today by Mingguan Malaysia, the country’s top lawyer said the decision over the fate of the thousands of summonses issued so far under the system could not revealed yet as it involves the cooperation of numerous agencies.
“I will release a statement to the media once everything is ready,” he was quoted as saying in the daily.
Abdul Gani (picture), however, said the summonses were still valid but admitted that the problematic issue was centred on the legal aspects of the speeding tickets.
The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) and the federal government came under fire last month for freezing the prosecution of traffic offenders under the AES yet allowing the system to continue operating.
The freeze was ordered following an outcry after the system issued nearly 300,000 summonses since it kicked off on September 23.
But shortly after the freeze, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha said the AES would still operate as usual and summonses would continue to be issued, drawing more criticisms from those opposing the system.
“The government will not stop AES summons as it is already been decided in the last cabinet meeting,” Kong had said on December 26, referring to the approval of his ministry’s estimated expenditure under Budget 2013.
Kong also appeared to admit that there are legal issues related to the AES summonses themselves, and that the ministry was in the process of resolving the complication.
“It is almost done... I think this problem will be solved by the ministry soon,” he pointed out.
In the aftermath, PAS vice-president Datuk Mahfuz Omar declared the ongoing row over the traffic system a “political game”, and dared the government to suspend its implementation.
The opposition lawmaker accused Putrajaya of being less than transparent in the deal with the two firms operating the system — Beta Tegap Sdn Bhd and ATES Sdn Bhd, which were both contracted to install and run the speed-trap camera system that has sparked much public anger over what is seen to be a privatisation of traffic law enforcement.
The Malaysian Insider had also reported last month that Putrajaya was considering holding off the implementation of the system as it appeared to duplicate police speed traps along the highways.
The privatised RM700 million project began in September with a pilot phase of 14 cameras but the Road Transport Department has pledged to roll out a total of 831 cameras by end-2013 to catch speeding motorists and prevent more road deaths.
The police, who enforce the speeding laws, have said they will continue enforcement and put up mobile speed traps near the AES cameras, raising the prospect of dual fines for errant motorists.
Source From : Malaysia Insider