Khalid Samad on why PH leaders did ‘U-turn’ on AES cameras

All Automated Enforcement System (AES) cameras to catch speeding motorists are now under the Road Transport Department. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Amanah’s Khalid Samad has explained why politicians like himself and party member Mahfuz Omar have since taken a different view over the Automated Enforcement System (AES).

Speaking tonight during a live debate session, Khalid, who is also the federal territories minister, said former opposition members like himself only took to protesting over the AES because it was privatised.

“When you say privatised, it means the collection of the fines go to private companies. The fines that are collected do not go to the government, the police or the Road Transport Department (JPJ).

“So now under the Pakatan Harapan government, we changed that. The collections from the summonses don’t go to the private companies. It all goes to the JPJ and the government,” the Shah Alam MP said.

Last year, Putrajaya said that the two companies operating the AES — Ates Sdn Bhd and Beta Tegap Sdn Bhd — from the time it was introduced in 2012 up to May 2018, made RM129 million from traffic summonses.

Transport Minister Loke Siew Fook said the scheme was taken over fully by the JPJ from Sept 1, 2018, after the government decided not to renew the contracts with Beta Tegap and Ates.

Recently, former prime minister Najib Razak questioned why Mahfuz, who is deputy human resources minister and formerly with PAS, had a different stance on the AES now compared to before.

Najib took to Facebook on Monday and shared a video of Mahfuz stating his objections towards the AES. Mahfuz refused to respond to Najib whom he said “did not know what to do” now.

Khalid, who is Amanah communications director, said the current RM300 compound fine for first-time traffic offenders was “maybe too high”.

Khalid said he was of the personal view that first-time offenders should pay a fine ranging from RM50 to RM100, with repeat offenders paying RM200 or the maximum RM300.

He hoped this matter would be debated in Parliament in the March sitting. He also said a few of the cameras also need to resited.