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? Well...it 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.