AES system: Ex-EC chief denies conflict of interest

Former EC chairman Abdul Aziz Yusof says he only bought the Commercial Circle shares after his retirement in 2016. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Former Election Commission (EC) chairman Abdul Aziz Yusof has denied any conflict of interest in the Automated Enforcement System (AES) issue.

This comes after the company in which he is a majority shareholder, Commercial Circle (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, was named as one of the two shareholders of Ates Sdn Bhd.

Ates is one of two companies operating the AES, which Transport Minister Anthony Loke said yesterday made RM129 million over six years after being introduced in 2012. The other company operating the AES is Beta Tegap.

The shareholders for Ates are Commercial Circle and Traffen Force Sdn Bhd. It is understood that Commercial Circle owns 40% of shares in Ates, with Traffen Force owning the rest.

Checks by FMT revealed that Aziz, who served as EC chairman between 2009 and 2016, owns 60% of shares in Commercial Circle.

However, Aziz told FMT that he only acquired the shares in the second half of 2016 after retiring from the public service.

“I don’t know much about the AES. I acquired shares in Commercial Circle because it is related to the security industry. That is my area of interest because in the past I served as the home ministry secretary-general.”

According to Companies Commission of Malaysia documents, Commercial Circle is a licence holder and supplier of defence and police equipment to government departments, also involved in supplying and installing traffic surveillance cameras.

The company also supplies, maintains and services law enforcement equipment.

Yesterday, Loke also revealed that Beta Tegap is owned jointly by Dr Andreas Teoh, Mohd Yunos Othman, Rozana Redzuan, General (Rtd) Nik Ismail Nik Mohamed and Yap Kim See @ Yap Ai Lin.

Last Friday, he announced that all 3.1 million outstanding AES traffic summonses, with a total value of RM435 million, would would be written off. He also announced that the government had decided not to renew the contract with Beta Tegap and Ates.

The AES traffic cameras record motorists exceeding the speed limit. The operations of these cameras will be fully taken over by the Road Transport Department beginning Sept 1.