The recent hasty decision to implement the Automated Enforcement System (AES) has caused many Malaysians to wonder which side of the political divide is telling the truth.
The Road Transport Department (RTD) has denied that the implementation of AES was aimed at enriching political cronies but instead was for the noble aim of reducing road fatalities and accidents.
Before prejudging the issues, Malaysians should focus on some of the pertinent issues and demand an explanation from the transport minister regarding the implementation of the AES system.
- Why was the AES system implemented in such haste? Were stakeholders consulted prior to implementation?
- Was any due diligence done to determine the cost and profitabilty of the AES?
- Was there any open tender conducted to award the AES contract to eleigible companies?
- How and on what basis was the ratio of profitabilty being shared between the private company and the government?
- Who are the real owners behind the two companies awarded the contract?
- Which party initiated the AES system, the transport minister or the Road Transport Department? There are many instances where political cronies will approach the minister to implement a scheme and certain portion of the profits will accrue to the minister on the success and implementation of the system.
Among the most pertinent issues that we should pursue with regards to the AES is the cost and profit that will result in the implementation of the AES. Since no statistics have been forthcoming from the Road Transport Department as regards its contract with the two companies, we should for the sake of simplicity make estimates that at best reflect the true situation.
Taking Penang as a guide where there are 2.2 million registered motor vehicle owners, let us extrapolate this figure and times the 12 states (including Federal Territory) to determine the number of registered vehicles. We take the average of 2.2 million ( Road Transport Dept figures) as the average representing all states although some may have more and some perhaps less.
At best this is a very conservative estimate. Since our estimate is very conservative it follows that our final result will also be conservative. Since there are 12 states and each state has 2.2 registered motor owners , the total registered owners totalled 26.4 million. Let us further assume that at any point of time 50 percent of the registered vehicles are mobile on the road.
That means an average of 13.2 million vehicles will be plying the road at any given time in all the 12 states where the AES system is implemented. From the 13.2 million let us assume that 2 percent have committed traffic offences under the AES. That translate into a figure of 264,000 traffic summonses daily.
At the non negotiable rate of RM300 per summons, that translate into a daily figure of RM79,200,000 of money collected under the AES system. The share of the two private companies on a daily basis will be 30 percent of RM79,200,000 which translates to an income of RM23,760,000 per day.
On a yearly basis the income accrued would be RM8,672,400,000. And for the duration of the contract, which is 66 months, the total amount earned would be RM47,698,200,000 (i.e. RM47 billion, six hundred and ninety eight million and two hundred thousand.)
Please remember that the above figure for the traffic offenders taken was a lowly figure of 2 percent. If the figure had been 5 percent, the income earned would be astronomical.
Based on the above figure, is the Road Transport Department telling us the truth when they say that the implementation of the AES was not to reap exorbitant profit but to reduce road fatalities? Let Malaysians be the judge.