Traffic enforcement must not be privatised, says ex-IGP

Nomy Nozwir, The Malaysian Insider

Putrajaya should not privatise law enforcement as it will create the impression the government is only interested in making money, former Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan said, after Parliament approved the roll-out of an outsourced automated system to catch and penalise speeding motorists.

The retired police officer is the latest to weigh in on the controversial Automated Enforcement System (AES), which has drawn ire from the public and opposition lawmakers alarmed at the profit motive built into the concession agreement awarded to two private companies to install and manage the speed trap cameras over the next five years.

“To me, enforcement cannot be privatised,” Musa told The Malaysian Insider.

“This will only create the perception that the government only wants to make profit on the people [sic],” he added in a telephone interview..

The 60-year-old agreed with critics who have pointed out that the AES has many flaws that have yet to be addressed, including a 17 per cent minimum profit margin to the two concession holders — ATES Sdn Bhd and Beta Tegap — which would need to issue a whopping 2.72 million speeding tickets each over the next five years just to recoup their reported RM700 million investments.

He noted that there may be difficulties with enforcing fines issued by the private companies should the public challenge the summonses they receive in court.

He said there are two types of summonses, the first being fines that cannot be compounded and the second fines that can be compounded.

Musa said the latter type of summonses should rightfully be handled by government enforcement agencies such as the police and the Road Transport Department (RTD).

The AES is handled only by the RTD, not the police who have their own speed trap cameras.

“The public will have two ways, first pay at RTD counters and second, stand trial in court and let the court decide,” he said.