Friday, March 4, 2011

Postal Summons - Wrong Way of Handling Summons

There is been a recent development about postal summons where Mahfuz Omar is going all round to "educate" people to go against postal summons. And given of the sheer volume of unpaid summons (17 million) as of Tuesday, the government is extending the half-price discount of summons until end of next Thursday (10). 

I do not wish to elaborate about extension about it is basically Malaysian culture to do everything last minute or so, and as such the electronic system gets clogged and jammed up hours before the deadline when everyone goes in to pay the summons. But what I find is a very sinister feeling is about why postal summons, which dated to offenses committed even up to 10 years ago! Most people don't really remember of small details or things that they did 10 years ago, only to see a summon letter coming in after many long years. 

If there is a problem of why all out of the sudden comes that, it simply reflects of poor handling of summons by the authorities. I would dare to say that there are imbeciles who absolutely said in the old archaic manner that postal summons must still remain whereas there are better ways, given of new technologies coming in and growing like a mushroom allows better ways of reaching to people and following up.

PAS has claimed that to blacklist a driver from renewing a driver's license or a road tax for not paying summons is tantamount to putting a person into ISA. This true, given of the present situation and much of the summons are issued before the Road Transport Act amendment which went on effect last month. And with that problem this clearly illustrates that the government's way of handling summons is wrong and it also reflects on how they have yet to understand human psychology in pursuing the amendments and enforcements.

It is understood that the bulk of summons are from speeding offenses. The numbers matches the conventional wisdom of "speed kills". However the problem here is many: speeding offense is easily traced and track. And as according to what Khir Toyo said, this creates the perception that the government is out to make more money instead of reducing accidents as intended. This is one of the ulterior motives. To makes things bad, when the AES system goes full operational by April, if there are no signs or warning of camera, and instead if it is misused just to make money for government without educating users, expect a mass backlash over a flawed method of enforcement. Expect more public anger and straining relationship between people and government.

Secondly, the problem is summon letters is that sometimes they do not have proof to back the claim that you have committed the offense or not. Until the amendment, the letter cannot be used as to final say that you did it or not, so it's bit hard to wipe off the case unless you bring it to the court to decide on it.

I've been observing all over and over again that the speed limits in certain roads are very unrealistic and inconsistent. For example, from Serdang to Kajang stretch, you are bound by a 90 k/m limit although you are in the highway that you can actually move to 110. This also applies after the Bukit Lanjan divider heading towards Jalan Duta, both are highways, yet it is inconsistent and you have a good road that is the highway! The speed limit of 110 at this time still remains unrealistic and I find it awkward for the then Deputy minister Donald Lim said that 110 is enough. No. It has to be increased to 120 or 130 given of how car technologies have improved and consider the traffic at highways is always smooth except on rainy and festive seasons.

I too agreed with Khir that many of us are not robots and sometimes, we don't see the heck of driving faster than the speed set there or because we are in the rush. The problem is lawmaking processes failed to take the human factor into consideration. Just because we go too fast doesn't mean that we are reckless all the way without knowing that we are in danger of an accident? It is also unfair to say that those who went 10-30 km/h more than usual should be given a compound summon (as with the amendment says) but it should be more structured, depending on speed severity.

Since the postal summons dating back to 2000 do not reflect the amended methods of enforcement started in February, it would be better to wipe the slate clean and start it again from scratch, starting with offences committed from 1 February 2011. Then it would be fair to all. Of course, those who paid would say it's not fair, but you might want to call for a rebate or something later on in either tax refunds or etc..

I would also suggest watching this video, as it too gives elaboration to what I mentioned above.

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