The AES or Automated Enforcement System has now turned into an embarrassing scheme for the government, in particular the transport minister who is now asked to suspend it or RESIGN. Opposition run state Penang has already decided to defer implementation of the system which is a federal project but requiring state cooperation and NOW another Opposition run state, Selangor, has decided to suspend it claiming it is unlawful. It now appear the proponent of AES has waddled into deep shit, or as some will say, the shit has hit the fan. With protests coming from within several factions of the ruling federal government it now appear the AES must be shelved temporarily until the heat dies out, if it can since most Malaysians own cars (we are quite prosperous based on vehicle ownership statistics) and being caught speeding at one time or another is no longer a confession too embarrassing to admit. The main contention is that pre-AES if the police personally issues you the summons you can use your persuasive skills to negotiate a settlement on the spot or alternatively look forward to a discount at the payment counter of any police station. Post-AES the cameras has the last word and without any involvement of any police on the ground you are defenseless and have to meekly fork out the fine, now fixed at RM300 which is non-negotiable. No wonder many of us are upset, some even furious. However the argument is not against speed trapping by any means but rather turning it into a business that profit private companies given the contracts to operate the system. This will make speed trapping lucrative.
Did the government ever obtain public feedbacks like it never did for the Lynas case? No. In case you are wondering, Lynas is a multi-billion dollar Australian mining operation given license to process radioactive earth in Gebeng situated in the prime minister's home state of Pahang. Does that raise any suspicion? It was supposed to begin operation in June but the local courts have blocked it because of protests from concerned citizens that dust and water pollutions will create health hazards through the years. In spite of assurance that the waste will not be harmful, or that they will be shipped out or buried, the question that was asked again and again is, why did we allow this gigantic operation on our land that was rejected by even its own government ? Therefore there must be some truth that it is somewhat hazardous. If Australians are smart enough to turn it down why is the Malaysian government stupid enough to license it, unless, unless some compromise has been made.
AES will go the way of Lynas and will become Another Expensive Scandal.