How should we judge a government?

In Malaysia, if you don't watch television or read newspapers, you are uninformed; but if you do, you are misinformed!

"If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing." - Malcolm X

Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience - Mark Twain

Why we should be against censorship in a court of law: Publicity is the very soul of justice … it keeps the judge himself, while trying, under trial. - Jeremy Bentham

"Our government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no
responsibility at the other. " - Ronald Reagan

Government fed by the people

Government fed by the people

Career options

Career options
I suggest government... because nobody has ever been caught.

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?
Corruption is so prevalent it affects English language?

When there's too much dirt...

When there's too much dirt...
We need better tools... to cover up mega corruptions.

Prevent bullying now!

Prevent bullying now!
If you're not going to speak up, how is the world supposed to know you exist? “Orang boleh pandai setinggi langit, tapi selama ia tidak menulis, ia akan hilang di dalam masyarakat dan dari sejarah.” - Ananta Prameodya Toer (Your intellect may soar to the sky but if you do not write, you will be lost from society and to history.)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Driving in Malaysia: cannot afford to make mistakes now

No matter how conscientious and careful you are as a driver, I am sure there were times when you made mistakes like beating the traffic lights (following a bigger vehicle blocking your view), or took a chance like overtaking a speeding heavy vehicle spewing black smoke in front of you.

Well, with modern technology invested by cronies with vested interests, you actions will be caught by cameras where they are installed, providing convincing photographic proofs of your misdemeanor. At the start of operation on August 12, many of us are likely to be taught expensive lessons with summons as tuition fees, because of having acquired bad habits in driving. Can we hope for a trial period to serve as warnings? Unlikely because now it is in the hands of profit-oriented companies and there is no longer any chance of 'kautim' for those used to the method of settlement. I wonder how those traffic policemen feel about this loss of opportunities to make some side income to supplement their low pay or to maintain their usual lifestyle.

The reality for now is that there are only some 800 such equipment thinly spread out, presumably in locations likely to have drivers breaking rules. I am sure they have done enough research on this, after all the concessionaires would naturally like to recoup their investments and make huge profits as soon as possible. Hopefully, those motorcyclists who ignore traffic lights but use their own judgment will be taught to behave themselves. I do have some pity on them in terms of financial penalties but we have to think of the general good in terms of overall road safety.

Anyone reading this might think I am for reckless driving, but I was once nicknamed, 'Safety first' in Cantonese by an older HK couple who were in my car coming down the old road from Cameron Highlands., because I did not take any chance in overtaking some vehicles.

A number of friends have forwarded to me Anil Netto's article in May on this:

May 092012

When you pay your traffic summons in future, two companies will eventually get a slice of the money under the impending privatisation of traffic cameras and surveillance.

Under the ‘automated traffic enforcement system’, the two companies are Beta Tegap Sdn Bhd (for the central and southern regions of the peninula) and ATES Sdn Bhd (for the northern region, Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan ).

The financial model is reportedly as follows:

Tier 1: For the first five million summons collected, RM16 per summons will go to the company. (Thus, company stands to make RM80m under this tier).
Tier 2: If more than 5 million summonses are issued, the company will receive 50 per cent of the balance of the summons collected (after deducting what is due to the company under Tier 1). The government gets the other 50 per cent. The maximum allowed for the company under this tier is RM270m.
Tier 3: After deducting what is due in Tiers 1 and 2 from the summons collected, the company will get 7.5 per cent of the balance and the government keeps the rest.

Assuming there are are 10 million summons issued and collected per year each with a RM300 penalty, the total summons collected would be RM15bn. Of this, the company would get RM80m under Tier 1, RM270m under Tier 2 and RM66m under Tier 3 = RM416m or 28 per cent of the summons collected.

The above example was provided in The Edge, 16 April 2012.

Beta Tegap and ATES reportedly have to spend RM300m and RM400m respectively to get the automated traffic enforcement system running. The cameras and automated systems are to be imported from Australian (A$50m) and German (40m euros) suppliers. The concession period is five years.

How fast these two obscure concessionaires recover their investment cost and make a profit will depend on how many summons are issued – and paid up. Sweetheart deal or not? What do you think?
Will the automated transport enforcement system work under this financial arrangement? Will the public ‘buy into’ this system?
Is this privatisation of cameras and monitoring systems justified in the first place?

Posted by Anil Netto at 9.29am

Update (with correction): AES is still on a trial basis...

AES summons-free Raya


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