CONSUMERS SAY ‘TAK NAK’ TO AUTOMATED ENFORCEMENT SYSTEM (AES)!

Dr Jacob George is president and legal adviser to the Consumers Association of Subang and Shah Alam (Cassa)

It is clear with ‘these amendments’ a monopoly is being created and legislative powers given that will protect concessionaires behind this monopoly as against the rights and interests of all consumers!

It is clear that this section with others will pave the way forward to introduce the controversial AUTOMATED ENFORCEMENT SYSTEM (AES).

And what is the said AES?

You do not have to be a rocket scientist to know that a concession will be given and perhaps two crony companies chosen to introduce car registration number plates with ‘chips’ which will cost RM150.00!

Today the cost of changing a number plate is below the RM40.00 mark!

With over 25 million vehicles (estimate) in the country this will be a brilliant profiteering act running into billions for the concessionaire and their political masters while the consumers are royally screwed!- Dr Jacob George

‘My foot the AES will bring down road accidents and fatalities!

CONSUMERS SAY ‘TAK NAK’ TO AES! FAHAM TAK?

The Consumers Association of Subang and Shah Alam Selangor (CASSA) puts on record its protests against several amendments to the Road Transport Act 2010 which is to be tabled at the next Parliament sitting!

The changes if carried through will initiate a backlash against the said ministry and policymakers behind the said move.

It is shocking that policymakers have not learnt lessons from past similar attempts to force through draconian legislation that challenges and threatens fundamental human rights and choices that consumers have.

Among them the creation of monopolies to serve certain political and business partnerships and interest, higher fines and jail terms as if the intention is to ‘criminalize each and every road using Malaysian!’

If the proposed changes are not challenged it will bring great misery, misfortune to Malaysian consumers but at the same time make billionaires of those given certain intended ‘concessionaires on car registration number plates’ at the expense of fair trade and will rubbish and make a mockery of the Competitions Act 2010!

CASSA views that the proposed changes too drastic and would be rejected by consumers and politicians from both political divide which will put the federal government in bad light!

Let us examine just a portion of the controversial changes to the said Act to be initiated to help us understand why we protest the said changes!

1. Section 2 (b) – Definition of Roads

By deleting the words “but shall not include any private road, bridge, tunnel or anything connected to that road which is maintained and kept by private persons or private bodies” – we will have a situation in Malaysian where all roads be they those administered by the government, local council, our Kampong and estate roads all becoming under the said jurisdiction and any offence on them will be penalized by fines and jail terms!

Section 4A – “Notwithstanding anything contained in any written law, any police officer or road transport officer shall exercise the powers conferred by this Act in respect of offences committed under this Act on any roads maintained and kept by private persons or private bodies” – this basically means the enforcement officials can enter any road private or otherwise and summon the alleged offender!

This will have a major impact on villagers, estates, housing estates and the rural areas of Malaysian and its residents!

For example the next time you put up a tent for a prayer session, wedding, and a funeral at your housing estate road – you can be penalized!

That will be the state of affairs!


2. Section 13A and 14 – RTA 2010

It is clear with these amendments a monopoly is being created and legislative powers given that will protects concessionaires behind this monopoly as against the rights and interests of all consumers!

It is clear that this section with others will pave the way forward to introduce the controversial AUTOMATED ENFORCEMENT SYSTEM (AES).

And what is the said AES?

You do not have to be a rocket scientist to know that a concession will be given and perhaps two crony companies chosen to introduce car registration number plates with ‘chips’ which will cost RM150.00!

Today the cost of changing a number plate is below the RM40.00 mark!

With over 25 million vehicles (estimate) in the country this will be a brilliant profiteering act running into billions for the concessionaire and their political masters while the consumers are royally screwed!

This will bring about groundswell of backlash when the traders in this trade selling the RM40.00 version affected by this move which will threaten their profession and rice bowl!

What about ‘privacy issues’ pertaining to personal and private data contained in the said chip?

3. Section 58A – On notice on change of address

If you change your residential address you are to give notice of the said change failing which a fine and a jail term awaits you?

Once again, what are the intentions of the legal draughtsman behind this irresponsible change?

Are we trying to criminalize each and everyone by this change?

This is ridiculous and utterly stupid!

4. Section 38 – “Endorsement of suspension, revocation or disqualification” of a driving license.

Extremely draconian and where natural justice is affected! Why jail terms and fines of not less than RM3000/- or more than RM10, 000 and jail terms of 3 years. Interestingly if passed we may have more by-elections when state assemblymen and Member of parliaments are affected!

5. Section 48 – Another fiasco.

The above will have far reaching impact against Malaysian consumers!

Basically laws are there to control, assist, concretize the masses but not as an agent to create fear and anxiety and bring chaos in the hearts and minds of the society!

CASSA appeals to the Members of Parliament to reject the said bill and serve the interests, rights of the consumers!

It must be stated that here we are addressing the road transport and not serious sexual crimes, robbery, corruption, murder or those relating to drugs and so forth.

Only an absolute idiot will say that the answer to the growing accidents in the country is higher fines – RM1000 to RM3000.00 and jail terms!

Only an opportunist will again use statistics on accidents to introduce the AES system which will be another monopoly like all the other monopolies we are dishing out at the same breathe saying that subsidies to the poor and marginalized must be withdrawn!

CASSA appeals to those behind these changes to withdraw the said bill for further deliberation and discussions among various stakeholders.

To drastically push the said Act will be a great and grave political mistake and one that will come to haunt all politicians seeking reelection in the forthcoming general Elections!

NO TO AES – PERIOD!

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