System Gets Stalling, Risks of Protests and Backlash
I was very sure that the AES that is to be implemented will get stalled and it was proven true but primarily because of two main factors. The main factor was the system strongly balked about by various consumer groups and even FOMCA over concerns of privacy invasion, potential misused, other facilities and factors that were not taken into account and of course the system could be flawed.
Several days ago, a company called Tess Capital was reported to be disappointed of being sidelined over the $700 million contract in favor of two companies. Tess Capital has in fact lodged a report to the MACC over the fact that the Police, RTD and the Ministry has already decided two companies in mind, with the system using foreign technology in favor of the local home-grown technology that Tess Capital claimed to be using.
According to the company, their system's accuracy, home-grown was far more accurate and less than its well brand-known rivals like Redflex, and GMBH. An engineer who was attached to the company observed from the live demo that whatever happened was selective and subjective.
Of course there has been calls for the tender contract to be reviewed, including one by Nurul Izzah but as what the new Transport minister Kong Cho Ha said, "two companies were awarded the contracts". As what it was revealed, the two were Beta Tegap and Commercial Circle Sdn Bhd. But then, despite the so called open tender, there was a bias selection, as what the Tess Capital claimed to be.
There was a talk previously about the AES which was to be done by Web Power Sdn Bhd. At this time, there has been no connection or link between Beta Tegap, Commercial Circle and Web Power, but they share the same theme, foreign technology. The police computerisation project, in which Anwar Ibrahim previously mentioned in the Israeli defense forces in PDRM is somewhat connected and pointed to Web Power. In turn, Web Power, through its connections with Musa Hassan, is linked to figures like Tengku Goh, BK Tan, etc..
Obviously, the implementation of the system is currently on hold pending the approval of amendments of the Road Transport Act. Not good. FOMCA, CASSA and other NGOs related are opposed to the current proposals and it seems from Cho Ha's statement, the government is likely to ignore the ramblings and complaints of the public in favor of this. Of course, there's the complaint of a biased selection system. Better local technology snubbed over foreign technology that is flawed.
As mentioned previously in part 1, there is a sinister agenda of implementing this system, which is of course, part of Big Brother mechanism, and of course leads to privacy invasion. Secondly, depending on who is given the contract to install RFID chips in the license plates, the government of the day is standing to earn kickbacks from the exuberant costs of installing. (Note: it was mentioned by a critic that GLCS / cronies stand to earn at least 40% more from the extra charge, whereas you can change a damaged plate for at least RM 40.)
Yes of course, I do agree that CASSA and the other consumer groups should go and fight the current proposals because drivers are the one that stands to lose in the end, at long run if the amendments would go ahead without people knowing it. And right now, with a report lodged by the supposed winning contractor to the MACC, expect the system to be stalled until both sides have finished with their respective dues with the government. CASSA did say of possible public backlash over this, but I felt that the backlash should be around now rather than starting after the system has been implemented. If that is the case, that's where they should regret for not doing it earlier or on time.
Unfortunately this thing, except for Kong's interview will never make light in major newspapers simply because objecting to this system is somewhat deemed a potential embarrassment for law enforcement agencies and those involved in the money making of the system.