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Thursday, December 27, 2007

We'll be watching you!

EYES ON ROADS - screamed the bold headline news on The Star's front page today.

It was announced that soon all Malaysian road users will be policed by AES or Automated Enforcement System. This AES is to be used to nab errant motorists on Malaysian roads and highways which will be identified by the police, Road Safety Department Malaysian Institute For Road Safety and Research (Miros) and the Road Transport Department.

Good ah? all sounds like another post Christmas toys shopping spree for some department heads and government officials. They didn't announce on today's story just how much this new toy, the AES, is going to cost the Malaysian taxpayer but you can bet it ain't going to be small change. The story did say that the authorities are considering privatising the whole thing (here we go again) so expect to pay more than road tax, petrol and tolls to use our pot-hole riddled highways and byways in the new year. All in the name of road safety.

The Director-General of Miros said that surveillance cameras will be placed at locations where motorists have been known to speed and beat the red light and at accident prone areas. This is a very daring claim indeed by the director-general.

First of all, there are more of those areas he mentioned in Malaysia than there are surveillance cameras available on the global market la. Secondly, is he so sure that what these cameras capture can or will be processed by our already stretched resources? After all, it is an annual excuse used by the police and all the other relevant road safety departments that they are under-staffed etc etc etc, right? So now got to do more work ah?

Reading the Star story this morning I got to thinking about how much we love to 'solve' every problem we face with hardware instead of identifying the root causes of the problem and curing that first. Right or not? Think about it la.

Education system not up to mark ah? Okay, announce SMART schools, erect some new buildings, buy computers, make announcements.

Floods ah? Build tunnel, bring out the boats, trucks, tractors and whatnot. Look for and stop the causes of worsening floods? No need la. Going to finish already. Then got one more year before have to do anything la.

Demonstrators ah? No permit ah? Bring out the water cannon. Fire the tear gas. What? You mean it was a peaceful walk meh? No lah cannot be. Ready...FIRE!

Rising crime ah? No problem la. Install cameras all over the place lor. Huh? Monitor? What monitor? You mean the class prefect ah? Oh you mean people to monitor the cameras and do something about it ah? Hmmm....never mind la that one later we see how. Now we buy cameras first.

I am wondering why they can't spend some of this money that we seem to have so much of on more prudent projects.

Like improving the lot of the Malaysian traffic policeman so that he can be charged up enough to do his job properly.

Or getting more traffic policemen on the street who don't 'close one eye' to blatant traffic offences right in front of them. How many times have you seen motorcycle riders and motorists making illegal U-turns or beating the red light even with a traffic policeman right there? Nobody seems to care. Not the kap cai rider. Not the Proton driver. And least of all the traffic cop.

Or looking into improving and policing the departments responsible for issuing driving licences so that Malaysian drivers and riders know at least the basics of road safety and responsible driving habits before they are issued licences to drive on Malaysian roads.

But wait ah...Road Safety Department director-general, Suret Singh says that the AES "......will take us into the same league as advanced countries."

Ah! I see. Malaysia Boleh! Well, it's alright then. Thanks.



arieff said...

"This AES is to be used to nap errant motorists on Malaysian roads and highways........."

Uncle, "to nab" la, bukan "to nap"... Nab = tangkap, nap = tido...

I know laa our traffic policemen always "sleeping", like their boss maaa...

CK Tan said...

well said. their xmas shopping obviously done after xmas. maybe there's some fund leftover so they wanna finish it, if not next yr budget decrease how? but cannot never got leftover one? should laugh like mad if not exceeded ald.


zewt said...

whenever there is a tragedy... something new will be introduced and money will be spent...

i wonder who got the contract for this one...

yok hoong said...

money, money, money
always money
its a rich man's world.

AES? Port Klang Free Trade Zone? Double Tracking? whats the common denominator.

BILLIONS, baby. Chan Kong Choy, baby.
Another project by Barisan Nasional.

bob said...

Welcome to Malaysia!

patrickteoh said...

Thanks for the pointer, Arief. It was a case of the finger being faster than the brain there. Nab it shall be.

Mr Bojangles said...

Bros Pat and Arieff,

Nab or nap, this is Malaysia. Dua dua pun boleh.

Maybe should kick start the AES by placing cameras in front of our chief sleepyhead's desk so could nab him when he naps on the job. Which is all the time. How else could you explain the mayhem ordinary Malaysians are experiencing.

Anonymous said...

And hey wasnt it some time back that they wanted to equip the police officers with handheld toys to aid them in their work? PDAs?

If the arseholes lazy officers cant even tacle simple issues like bikers riding along the Fed Hiway (so damn easy to nab) dont expect them to do anything abt road safety for Msians. It is like YOU DIE YOUR PROBLEM.

halim said...

Whenever on the road and I see some arsehole beating the lights or making illegal uturns or whatever, I just say to myself, "What to do, Badawi what!". Malaysia has really become a big cowboy town.

halim said...

And my son always cracks up whenever I say this. Its our private joke together, you see...

Anonymous said...

2008 budget sure bigger than 2007 one. Somemore got 9M'sia Plan, east coridor north coridor south corridor. Wah our country is advancing, but some of our leaders' minds are not. Still in cuckooland. Ini tak boleh itu tak boleh, semua haram. Aiyah why like that?

RogueShadow said...

This whole AES business is funny, especially coz when the lorry drivers requested for surveillance cameras at rest stops to curb robbery, a minister (was it Samy Vellu? citation needed) said "Next they'll ask us to wash their lorries!".

Waah. For the Rakyat, no budget. For their government officials, the sky's the limit?

Also, I used to live in SS1. A cross junction there caused many accidents, deaths even.

They finally installed a traffic light when an MPPJ official's car got into an accident there himself.

jasonwcm said...

I can expect that there will be NO enforcement in this shit and soon it will be like the current "speed trap" box... Box only, without the camera. And yet the money is reportedly spent into maintenance of this shit while we know very well where the money actually goes to. malaysia boleh! duh.

NiaMakEhh said...

Another $$$$$$ project and another few rich LembuS ....

pah nur said...

Two words. Civic minded citizens. Okaylah, three words. How do we become civic minded? Gosh, how did those mat saleh in the UK become that? We are too busy copying their music and fashion, how do one copy good traits, it's tough i'm sure...I don't know. Oh about starting with a solid education system? we're getting somewhere..What happens when the multimillion canggih crime buster machine malfunctions? (as the case of almost everything here in malaysia, we have problems with maintainence). Then what? If we make civic mind a culture, we may save money on expensive alternatives.(expensive because you knowlah why meh..remember the rm3 karipap ordeal?)

What we are doing is this. We have a tempayan bocor. We keep on filling water into it to maintain that certain level of water, when all we really need to do is to patch the darn lubang.

Anonymous said...

I think all Malaysians should begin to call up their local political representative and nag and nag and nag at him or her until he or she does something. If we do not even try to be leceh, people think that the problem is just a small problem. Each time a certain politician comes a calling, bombard him or her with hard questions and demand answers so that they know we are thinking Malaysians. All these while, I think Malaysians on the whole are just so nice. We just obey orders. It is high time Malaysians boldly step forward and insist to know what is actually going on. They have the right to know because they are the ones who elected the very people to represent them. TDM kind of brought us into a more developed world. Do you like him ?

sunnysardine said...

nice article :) love it.

Aswad said...

Where is Samy when you need him?

doraemon1972 said...

Imagine a darn single screwdriver could cost the government hundreds of ringgit, this new camera they're planning to install will surely be more than that. Wonder which SOB will benefit from all this...

Anonymous said...

Patrick, Your AES post is excellent.
AES adds to Malaysia's downward spiral on Pricacy Internationals Role of 'Honour'
The Privacy International 2007 Report says:
MALAYSIA SCORED 1.3 out of 5
Scores between: 1.1-1.5 = Endemic Surveillance Societies
Malaysia's negative points:
•No right to privacy in constitution
•No comprehensive privacy law
•Controversial internal security act allows for extensive police powers
•Interception authorised by attorney general
•Extensive use of identification scheme, mykad
•Plan to implement citizen data hub across government departments, developed by oracle corporation, including individuals background, education, and health records
•Biometric system monitors foreigners in the country
•Extensive use of Closed Circuit TV with no privacy safeguards

IF AES actually contributes to safety on the roads, then I am all for it.
The issue of "Big Brother" and of course the endemic lack of maintenance is another factor which may well negate AES as a road safety tool.

Anonymous said...

between morons and idiots, haha, check this blog out.

cynic888 said...

Remember the film camera? Bought from the Europeans (French, I think). It became too expensive to use after awhile because i) too many motorists were breaking the law and getting their pictures taken ii) no enforcement, which reinforced the could-not-care-less attitude iii) they literally ran out of film to reload and it was too expensive to process the pictures as it has to be done overseas or something like that. Look at the traffic lights that has countdowns....a lot of them do not work anymore due to bad maintenance. If they cannot maintain a simple device like this, how to do a CCTV?

bobmarLEE said...

Well guys, I have seen news so shocking and ridiculous everyday that nothing shocks me anymore. I don't quite remember which day's headline it was but the headline goes something like this "RM20 million for tranparent ballot box and preparing election personnel for the next election"(or something like that). I was like wtf man, another "earth prince(s)" and his fellow cronies are going to be fat! RM20 million for some crappy recycled sub standard plastic box (I'm just speculating on the materials here but somehow rather I am damn sure that is what they will be made of) and training people? I rather not have any election at all. It is true the box is transparent but will the government make transparent to us the cost of the boxes, where it is from, who will provide it, who will be the next fat cat, who will... and....? So much for transparency.

FoggyDuo said...

Talking about motorcyclists, just to add to what you said Pat, I just have a few simple questions: Do motorcyclists in Malaysia have a death wish? Do they have no respect for their OWN lives (let's forget about them having respect for other people's lives!!)? Why do they always drive the WRONG way down a road - regardless of how busy that road is? Why do they shoot through red lights? Why do they shoot off before a light turns green? Why do KIDS ride around on motorbikes - with no helmets, no license, and sometimes up to 3 or 4 on a single bike? Why do adults take kids on bikes without any helmets? Do people not care that they could end up maimed or, worst case, DEAD? Don't the parents care about the kids ending up maimed or dead? And, without trying to pinpoint any particular group of people, why is it that, almost without exception, the MAJORITY of people who do all this are Malays? Are they trying to get to God faster? Well, do get to God faster if you want to, but DONT involve others in your death wish!

The number of times I have been peacefully driving along in the CORRECT direction, and come head to head with a motor-cyclist coming in the OPPOSITE direction in the same lane, or shooting out of a side road without checking to see if someone is coming, just doesn't bear thinking about. If you want to die, be my guest, but DO NOT INCLUDE ME IN THAT!

Enuff said