AES: Why We Really Need Them?


(Another fucking moron on the highway, the fact the idiot is getting too excited whenever he sees a high powered car is beside the point but with speeds in excess of 200 km/h with no cops in sight is clearly endangering other road users. This is where AES can come in very effectively – catching such idiots on camera 24 hours a day and in all weathers. Source: Youtube)

I don’t understand why some people failed to see that it is not an issue of profit but rather an issue of enforcement & road safety.

KUALA LUMPUR: The federal government and the concessionaires stand to collect RM51 billion from traffic summonses should all 831 Automated Enforcement System (AES) cameras are installed nationwide, said DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng today.

He also criticised the system for enriching certain individuals at the expense of sorry traffic offenders, saying that no government would try to gauge profits from traffic summonses. “If we did something wrong, you summon us, no problem. But why when issuing summonses, certain individuals are getting profits…” he said.

(Source)

And in response to the above allegation, we have this reply:-

Abdul Rahim in denying allegations that AES operators, Beta Tegap Sdn Bhd and Ates Sdn Bhd were capturing images of traffic offenders for profiteering purposes said RTD had the authority to issue summons, not the operators.

He said the government had made certain provisions to control the profits of the AES operators. Abdul Rahim said the operators bore all the cost of supply, installation and maintenance of AES system as well as its upgrade, if necessary. He said the operators were willing to accept losses in the event of less summons issued due to positive changes in the behavior of road users or vandalism risks on their equipment and cameras.

(Source)

But before we go further, we also have this complaint in the papers:-

It was reported that 63,558 offences were captured by 14 cameras over eight days under the Automated Enforcement System (AES). Therefore, on average, each camera recorded 567 offences a day or one in every two and a half minutes. At this rate, a staggering 171,772,650 offences will be captured in a year when all 830 cameras are used.

Can the Road Transport Department issue such a huge number of summonses and are motorists willing to pay? Laws and rules are meant to protect the majority. If a huge number is penalised, then something must be wrong and ought to be changed.

Super cars are treated the same as jalopies as the cameras cannot discriminate between vehicles. Yet in most instances, it would be no more dangerous for a German car to cruise at 160kph than a 660cc car floating at 110kph.

(Source)

When it comes to enforcement, road safety and adherence to traffic rules & ethics, one have to wake up to 2 stark realities in Malaysia

One – we have a serious case of enforcement of traffic rules and this is largely attributed to the shortage of enforcement personals and higher priority and allocation of limited resources on more serious crime. It is a fact that the police cannot be everywhere at the same time and they have better things to do than to waste time and resource to chase someone who has been speeding. Something more effective is needed to address this and the Government has been trying to address this in recent times under its various measures in its NKRA for crime but it is clear that there is still plenty of work to be done before the general public perception of reduction in crime improves.

Two – we have a load of morons who are on the road on daily basis causing inconvenience and posing serious danger to other road users. Don’t get me wrong – they could be the best husband, wife, father, mother, son, daughter, boyfriend, girlfriend, co-worker, buddies, etc, very charitable, religious and helpful but when they are on the road, they can be a fucking idiot and a pain in the neck to others. And not surprisingly, a large number of them ride a motorcycle. And it does not take long for them to kick a big fuss (with the usual misplaced & lame excuses and often in collusion with opposition politicians who some are waiting to politicize anything under the sun when it comes to Government policies) whenever the Government announces stronger measures to enforce the traffic laws. Still remember when the RM1,000 fine was proposed and then cancelled? It is not an issue of education but rather care-less attitude.

(The basic flow of AES in Malaysia but it is not a perfect system – there is still room for improvement. Image source: http://www.skyscrapercity.com / TheStar)

AES or Automated Enforcement System is not something new. Seeing policemen with speed cameras / radars by the side of the highway has been a norm for many years now and we also had CCTV cameras in certain area of the traffic for monitoring and enforcement purposes. The old method of having a policeman manning the speeding camera has its weaknesses – one obvious weakness is that the policeman cannot man the speeding camera 24 hours and in all weathers (I personally have seen them “closing shop” when it started to rain and things get more dangerous for others). And it is a wrong allocation of resources –  why sit under the umbrella manning speed cameras for hours when the same policeman can be allocated to do street policing work or work on serious crime investigations?

So the mindless oppositions to the implementation of AES has really dumb-struck me. And the fact that opposition politicians joining in road offenders (hmmm, habitual offenders must really be feeling the bite now) in calling for the AES to be on hold is greatly missing the point. Yes, I agree that there may be an issue in awarding the AES contract to a selected few and perhaps there may just be an issue on the computation of the payments to the AES operators but that has nothing to do with the urgent need to have AES in place for enforcement of traffic rules. Politicians (from all sides) should stress the need for better and effective enforcement methods – one that will take out the man in blue from mundane enforcement work and into more important effective policing work.

They can still voice their concern on the implementation of AES but it has to be with the right focus and questions.

Enriching the Few Allegations

Lim Guan Eng’s contention that the system is enriching certain individuals at the expense of sorry traffic offenders is sorely misplaced. Firstly the system only works if there are traffic offenders. If no one breaks the law (existing laws and not one that was created out of the blue), no summons would be issued and no “individuals” would be enriched “unnecessarily”. It’s dumb to say that the system is designed to enrich only certain individuals (and not for enforcement of traffic laws). Secondly what he meant by “sorry” traffic offenders? If you break the law, you can utter all the sorry you want but at end of the day, you need to pay for the offence.

Rocky’s Bru in his post rightfully call some people including Guan Eng a moron and in this case, they are. Some people simply don’t just get it – AES burdens the traffic offenders, not the taxpayers (same case as the RM1,000 fine but then it was politicized and wrongly portrayed as burdening the tax-payers).

There is a proper place and time to politicize certain issues but not on the measures that actually enforces the traffic laws and one have proven to reduce accidents in a positive way. If these politicians who are opposing AES have a better way to improve the enforcement of traffic laws and reduce the number of fatalities, they should come forward with their ideas. Unfortunately there has been none to date except complaints and allegations on AES.

Educate, Not Punish?

Elsewhere some argues that AES is simply the wrong method deployed to educate the drivers who flaunt on traffic rules. They are arguing that educating drivers must be the priority of the authorities and the authorities should not be focusing on the punishment of the said drivers.

But this is where I don’t understand on why there is a need to “re-educate” the traffic offenders. Unless there some element of “duit kopi“, didn’t they go to driving school and sat for driving test? Have they now become way too stupid to understand that red light means stop or driving more than 110 km/h means the car is driven more than the regulated speed limit? Have they now become way too stupid to read the various warning posted by the authorities by the side of the road and continued to ignore them? If they are, then they should not be allowed to handle a vehicle in the first place (you did not see “Forrest Gump” driving a car, did you?)

You can focus on all the re-education that you want and until the fat lady sings perhaps but I can tell you now that nothing whatsoever will change. This is because the issue at hand is not due to lack of education (people are not that dumb) but rather it is due to attitude problem. These people know that due to lack of enforcement, they can get away with it. There is a clear lack of the perception of being caught and this is why some of the traffic offenders are repeated offenders and that is why AES caught 63,558 offences within one week. Imagine the number of offences committed in areas where the police are not around or AES is not in operation.

At end of the day, if nothing changes, alternative methods must be deployed especially when dealing with habitual offenders. Don’t bother to waste time with calls for education. Some morons will only change their ways when you hit them where it pains them the most – on their wallet, when their driving license is cancelled and when they are banned from driving. For some, punishment can be a powerful form of education too.

(The use of ANPR or Automatic Number Plate Recognition in the UK to detect and remove serious criminals, unsafe vehicles and unsafe drivers from our roads. Yes, they actually seize the car in addition to giving the driver the summons. In Malaysia, we are still being soft on criminals on the road – we don’t seize the unsafe or uninsured vehicles on the spot. Source: Youtube)

Big Car, Small Car Distinction

“Super cars are treated the same as jalopies as the cameras cannot discriminate between vehicles. Yet in most instances, it would be no more dangerous for a German car to cruise at 160kph than a 660cc car floating at 110kph”.

So what? What is the writer’s contention? That the fat rich guy in the big car can break every traffic rules in the book but the poor guy in the small car must strictly adhere by the rules?

When the authorities set the speed limit on a certain length of the road, it is meant for all vehicles – small, big, expensive, cheap, etc. A German car that flies on the fast lane at 160kph kills the same and causes the same bloody mess as the 660cc car floating at 110kph. Technology makes a big difference in terms of safety and comfort to the occupant of the car but it should not make any difference in the eyes of the law. So stop making this big car, small car distinction – it does not any make sense as it does not make things safer for other road users. The treatment of the law must be equal on all.

Talking about speed limit, it is imperative that we need to have a comprehensive study whether the existing speed limits is reasonable given the current status of traffic, road condition and the types of cars that uses the road. If one stretch of road allows you to drive up to 110 km/h but at the very next corner, the speed goes down drastically to say 60 km/h, one need to study whether enough time, notice and room have been given for the driver to slow down to 60 km/h.

What Need to Focus on AES Instead?

We need the AES but in the same case of highways (we need them too), we do not want it to be turned out an economical burden.

We do not want the Government to end up paying millions of ringgit in compensation due to reduced number of summons collected or issued. It happened for highways too – we welcomed the construction of the highways and even know why we pay toll but what we question is the substantial increase in toll charges and the huge compensations paid especially when it is clear that there is also a substantial increase of vehicles using the highway. We question the toll concessionaires’ agreement which is shrouded in secrecy and attempts to view them are met with unbelievable opposition and threats.

We want the politicians to vet the AES contract with greater scrutiny and to ensure that the slip-ups that happened in highway concessionaires’ agreement do not appear in AES agreements. We do not want to end up paying higher summons rates or pay millions of compensation even with high number of summons issued. And this is what the politicians should be focusing on. Keep the implementation of AES intact but ensure that tax-payers money is well protected from any future compensation or bail-outs.

Then we have this:-

The two local contractors handling the Automated Enforcement System (AES) may have paid RM404 million more for the speed cameras.

Anti-Saman Ekor Campaign (KASE) legal adviser Zulhazmi Shariff said today that a Transport Ministry parliamentary reply indicated that the private companies implementing the project for the government, namely Beta Tegap Sdn Bhd and A.T.E.S. Sdn Bhd, had invested RM717 million in the nationwide project.

“From what we found from a filing to the Australian Security Exchange dated Dec 19, 2011, Redflex had announced that it has obtained a contract worth more than USD50 million (RM151 million) to install 450 fixed cameras and 140 mobile cameras for Beta Tegap,” he said, showing copies of the filings of both companies which he obtained online. For Jenoptik Robot, he said the company had announced that it was receiving USD53 million (RM160 million) to install 550 cameras for A.T.E.S. He said the price included implementation and comprehensive support for five years.

Zulhazmi, who is also a PAS member, said this totalled to about RM312 million spent, which was RM404 million less than the RM717 the local companies had invested. “That would make the difference of RM404 million. Why such a high mark up price? “This is pure earning for these companies. Why didn’t the government buy these technologies directly?” he asked.

(Source)

The Government is saying that they or the taxpayers are not paying anything for the hardware and the implementation as it is outsourced to the 2 private companies (who will also bear the costs). So who cares if the companies paying more than what is needed – it is not our money in the first place but is there any implications on the computation of payments to the 2 private companies from the summons collected? Or worse, what happens if the Government is going to “reimburse” the companies at a later point of time for the same hardware? What is the amount we going to pay in the end? We are interested to know this.

(Traditional traffic law enforcement relies exclusively on the presence of an officer to observe violations and identify and cite offenders. Obviously, this limits the effectiveness of traffic law enforcement because police cannot be everywhere. An automated enforcement system fills this gap in enforcement. Source: Youtube)

But AES Still Needs Improvement

There are clear merits on implementing AES and issue of cost aside, AES on it’s own is not perfect and does not cover all aspect of traffic enforcement especially when it comes to enforcement on motorcyclists and heavy vehicles. At the moment, it only covers excessive speeding and running the red lights and it is a good start but it is not enough. A bulk of the fatality involves motorcyclists and a good number of them ride around without helmet, speeding off with any care for red lights, weaving in and out of lanes without any indicators and riding against traffic.

The truth is AES is not designed to work alone – that is very clear from the start. It is designed to work as part of a bigger, comprehensive enforcement system which involves the enforcement agencies and other sub-systems like speed camera, CCTVs and public information. We still need the police, RTD and the local authorities to do their share of the enforcement which includes mobile speed trap, road blocks and patrols. We also need to ensure the various databases from the various departments (police, RTD, National Registration Department, etc) are well integrated so that information is readily made available for all arms of the enforcement agencies any time, any place.

At end of the day, we just want to drive from A to B without the need to be fear or be inconvenient from other road users. As such, we need systems like the AES to be widely used to stem the abuse of traffic rules. And it was good to know that the Government are strict on implementing AES and will not back off from the unfounded oppositions to AES for the time being. That is what all traffic law abiding road users wants also, I am pretty sure.

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Let’s Just Ban These Nigerians!


Update 1: More Nigerian drug masterminds being caught in the county. From theStar:-

The 28-year-old Nigerian leader of an international drug distribution ring was masquerading as a college student. He made easy money by luring lovestruck women into smuggling drugs. The man became a major player in the regional drug smuggling trade, but despite keeping a low-profile, his activities were noticed. He was nabbed after a six-month surveillance by police.

Are we still leaving the back door open for more foreign criminals to slip-in through in disguise of students?

Back to the original post

Read these first:-

(The police’s press conference on the arrest the Nigerian drug baron, who soon will be facing the gallows. One has been caught, what about the rest? What about other crimes like internet scams and fraud?)

When will the authorities wake up and put their “foot down” (I mean with serious short & long term action and not just the usual talk cock) on this long nagging problem? Will the Home Minister able to do some serious “out-of-the-box” thinking to get rid of these persistent parasites from Africa for once and for all?

From theStar:-

A Nigerian living like a king in his little palace hideout in Lukut, Port Dickson, was nabbed by the police on suspicion of running a multi-million ringgit international drug syndicate. After six months of surveillance, police moved in on the 32-year-old Nigerian, who has been living a life of luxury in his bungalow house on Saturday and nabbed him and his 31-year-old live-in girlfriend whom he referred to as his wife.

Police investigations also revealed that the suspect, who had been operating in the country for less than a year, owns a hotel in his home country believed to be paid for with money gained from his illegal activities here.

Assets belonging to the man, his girlfriend and his right-hand man in Malaysia worth millions of ringgit have been frozen. The three have been remanded for seven days.

Noor Rashid revealed that in unrelated cases last week, six people from Zambia, Iran and Nigeria, including women aged between 25 and 38, were arrested in KLIA, Puchong and Damansara for drug smuggling. Drugs seized in these cases have a street value of RM7mil.

Kudos to the police in nabbing the criminal (are there others?) and in due time, this criminal and others like him will soon face the gallows (unless the prosecution screws up big time). And whilst the police and to some extent the Immigration Department have been going after the criminals from African (namely from Nigeria) who had overstayed and abused student visa, the more important check should come even before these criminals enter the country. And why we still have Nigerian criminals in this country despite all the hoo-haa in the past on the abuse of student visas by the politicians? Is it because we have been good is nabbing them; we have screwed up in punishing them and in making sure they never return after we had deported them? Are these criminals taking the advantage of the possible corruption or loopholes in the system?

Doesn’t the very fact that they are driving around in luxury cars (and act like morons on the road) and staying at high-end residential areas without a clear indication of their source of income draws one’s doubts? And considering we have yet to nail the South American criminals who did the ATM job in recent weeks (perhaps they have gone back to their own country to let things cool down and be back later), we need to re-look into the operational & review process & procedures in allowing foreigners (especially from dubious countries from Africa & South America and others “watch-list” countries like Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Iran, Pakistan, India and Indonesia) into this country. What is happening to our border patrols? After all, if it is that easy for drug dealers to move in and out of this country, think of the consequences if we have terrorists doing the same.

Are we asking the right questions before we grant these foreigners access to our country? Are our people at these entry points alert enough to single out any suspicious characters for further investigations? Were the verification of documents and other information done extensively before access is granted? Have we checked their source of income? If a clown is coming to this country for Basic English classes, obviously questions need to be raised – why a class on Basic English, why this country (where English is not even the language of Science and Mathematics) and how this clown is going to pay for the classes? From some scholarship, money from parents or from drug money? Is the college registered and recognized by the Government to take in foreign students? Where this clown is going to stay for the duration of his “course”? Is there a guarantee somewhere for his good behaviour? For short term visits, does he has a valid return ticket?

What about his past record from his home country? And since we already deployed biometric registration for foreign workers, have we enforced the same on those who abuse their visas? And go step further with tying up with fingerprint database from the law enforcement agencies (it should not be that difficult considering the infrastructure that we have now) so that those with criminal records can be easily identified at the borders (even if they had changed their name and passport) and entry is strictly denied (or subject to even further questioning & checking).

And before anyone accuses Malaysia on doing selective prosecution or practice selective racism, let me say this upfront aloud – screw you. We have other foreigners as well and a number of them have been living and studying in this country for years without any problems but not the Nigerians and to some extent Iranians. Almost on a monthly basis, you see them in the news caught for illegal activities – if it is not on internet scams, then it is on drugs and other crimes:-

February 2012 – Customs officers have detained a 27-year-old Nigerian man for attempting to smuggle 75 pellets of drugs in a condom which he had swallowed. KLIA Customs deputy director Siti Baya Berahan said the man, suspected to be a drug mule, was held at the airport here at about 11pm Thursday after he had flown in from Lagos.

February 2012 – The High Court sentenced to death a Nigerian man after he was found guilty of drug trafficking two years ago. Judicial Commissioner Mohd Zaki Abdul Wahab said the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt against 34-year-old Oluigbo Eric Chimeze.

April 2012 – Meanwhile, a 27-year-old Nigerian registered as a student of a private college in Kuala Lumpur since June last year, was found with 0.85kg of methamphetamine concealed in a special compartment in his laptop bag, New Straits Times reported on Sunday. Malaysian custom chief Siti Baya said the man was detained by Customs when his laptop bag showed a suspicious image when it was scanned on his arrival from Lagos.

May 2012 – A Nigerian man was sentenced to death at the High Court here Monday for trafficking cannabis two years ago. James Kamara, a student at a private higher learning institution in Kuala Lumpur, was found guilty of trafficking 18,810gm of cannabis at about 9.05pm, at the Shahab Perdana bus terminal here, on Sept 13, 2010.

May 2012 – Following the arrest, police raided two houses in Kuala Lumpur and Kota Damansara on Monday and Tuesday where they nabbed 15 Nigerian men. “The syndicate has been active for more than two years and we believe more victims have been conned by its members,” he said yesterday. ACP Izany also said initial investigation revealed all the Nigerian suspects hold student visas and study at local colleges.

June 2012 – A Nigerian student was jailed for 15 months and ordered to be caned four times by a magistrate’s court for misappropriating RM4,850 from an Iranian student in an online banking scam.

July 2012 – A Nigerian drug mule was arrested with about 400gm of syabu in capsules that she swallowed. The 32-year-old woman, who arrived from Doha, was nabbed at around 7.30pm at the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal on June 16.

July 2012 – Five Africans have been arrested for trafficking about RM1mil worth of Syabu. Federal Narcotic Crimes Investigations Department (NCID) director Comm Datuk Noor Rashid Ibrahim said police arrested four Nigerians and a Ghanaian man in Kepong at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

July 2012 – Four Nigerian students were charged in the Magistrate’s Court on Friday with trafficking 977 grammes of syabu. The men were charged under Section 39B(1)(a) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 which can be sentenced under Seksyen 39B(2) of the same Act and read with Section 34 of the Penal Code, which carries a mandatory death sentence upon conviction.

August 2012 – The High Court here on Sunday sentenced a Nigerian man to death after finding him guilty of trafficking drugs, last year.

August 2012 – A Nigerian cleaner was sentenced to 15 years in jail by the High Court after pleading guilty to an alternative charge of possessing 2.9kg of methamphetamines.

We can tolerate the nonsense from our politicians (which is getting insanely stupid by the minutes these days but it does not matter, we are Malaysians) but we can never tolerate the criminals who come to this country and abuse the entry privileges, take our hospitality for granted, use this country as transit point for all kind of illegal activities, rob & cheat Malaysians at the same time and gain millions of ringgit from their illegal activities whilst continuing to show their middle finger to the law of the country.

(A video of a drug trafficker being caned at Sungai Buloh prison in Malaysia. Despite the severe punishment including the mandatory death by hanging is clearly defined and made known to all visitors to this country, we are still having foreigners bringing in drugs to the country on regular basis. Something is not right here )

If you ask me, probably these criminals should be severely punished and any Malaysians who knowingly help these criminals should be charged with treason and should be charged with the same crime too. No second chance, no sweet talk, no mere threats and certainly no fear of losing influx of foreigners to this country.Yes, it may sound way too extreme but consider this – despite the fact that ultimate punishment for trafficking drugs in this country is the death penalty, the number of people caught with drugs (either as drug mules or drug dealers) does not seem to be reducing. These people are not dumb, they are simply greedy and ruthless.

At end of the day, we may lose some income here and there (some small colleges may have to close down for good but who cares, you never know, it may be run by Nigerians too) but overall this will send a clear message to those foreigners who intend to commit crime in this country. A strong message that says that Malaysians does not tolerate criminals and certainly do not want the good name of this country as being the transit country for criminal activities.

We are more than happy to welcome foreigners to this country for needs of education, business and pleasure but we must certainly be prepared to kick out any foreign criminals from our doorsteps.

The Crime Statistics Folly


(How safe you are feeling when you are out these days? Sorry, let me rephrase that – how safe you are feeling when you are out these days considering that the statistics shows a lower crime rate? Image source: http://www.pemandu.gov.my)

Do you believe that the crime rates have dropped drastically over the last few months?

No doubt that the police are doing their very best in combating crime (with breakthroughs like this, this, this and this) but it is also clear (if you have read the news in the last few days) that it does not matter if you are an-ex Chief Minister or a Police Chief or just happen to be within the vicinity of the state police headquarters, you can still get screwed by the criminals:-

The house of former Malacca chief minister Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Tamby Chik was broken into by burglars who took away cash and a pistol. All the occupants of the house were out for a wedding in Malacca during last night’s break-in.

At about 9pm, one of Abdul Rahim’s family members came home but he did not notice anything amiss. However, sources said that after taking a shower, he realised that the master bedroom had been ransacked. When the family returned home and checked their belongings, they discovered that several items and valuables were missing.

“Three rooms were ransacked. The burglars took cash, jewellery, valuables and a pistol,” said a family member.

(Source)

And this:-

The multi-purpose vehicle belonging to the Sentul district police chief was found 12 hours after it was stolen at his home in Taman Chandan Puteri here.

Kuala Kangsar district police chief Superintendent Abdul Gaffaar Muhammad said police found Assistant Commissioner Zakaria Pagan’s Toyota Estima at 3pm yesterday in Pasir Puteh, Ipoh. “Zakaria realised his car was missing when he wanted to go and buy breakfast at 8am.”

(Source)

And this:-

A money changer was robbed following a daring heist by a group of armed robbers just opposite the state police headquarters here.

According to a nearby saloon employee, who wanted to be known only as Joyce, 35, the robbers had used two vehicles to carry out the robbery at around 10.15am along Jalan Harimau Tarom on Tuesday.

(Source)

And in recent spate of robbery and attempted abduction in shopping centres against lone women and multi million ATM robberies (damn, we used to deal with Indonesian and Nigerian criminals but now South American and Middle East criminals are getting in the act too), the question now raised is whether we have been looking at the wrong side of the statistics.

Tony Pua of DAP writes:-

We call upon the Government to stop the spin on the crime situation in the country. There is absolutely no question that the people do not feel safe in the streets regardless of the many “feel good” selective statistics the Government has released to the public.

Datuk Idris Jala claimed that “we as in the police (PDRM), Home Ministry (KDN) and Pemandu have been very transparent in acknowledging that there are 157,891 index crime cases reported in 2011”.

However, if the Government is so confident of its crime fighting achievements, why is it refusing to provide detailed statistics by districts (e.g., Petaling Jaya, Klang, Serdang etc.) or by type of crime (e.g., murder, kidnapping, snatch theft, robbery, armed robbery etc.)?

And the same echoed by PKR’s Dr Wan Azizah:-

In 2010, Malaysia’s Special Branch, according to PKR, spent three times more resources spying on its citizens than it has fighting crime. PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail revealed figures from the 2012 Budget, showing that the police produced 733,237 spy reports and security checks in 2010. In comparison, the number of investigation papers under criminal investigation opened that year was 211,645.

“All in all, the police’s Special Branch produced 733,000 reports on its citizens, spying on roughly 4.3% of the adult population of Malaysia,” said Wan Azizah.

She expressed irony at this, hinting at the rising spate of crime in the country, especially where violence against women was concerned. She said that instead of focusing on crime, the government chose to focus on statistics.

For 2012, the Government has posed the following crime reducing rate and given the recent measures undertaken by the Government in combating crime (like the very assuring Ops Payung especially at commercial areas and more street patrol) and the past results from 2011, I am confident that we can achieve a good part of the said targets (if they are not busy with non-criminal policing work on the oppositions or not being too busy with road blocks & fortification of the Dataran Square for another Bersih-like rally):-

1. Reduce 5% of Crime Index against the year 2011.
2. Reduce 45% of Street Crime Index against the year 2009.
3. Reduce 45% of people who fear of becoming victim of crime.
4. Increase 25% of PDRM charging rate.
5. Increase 65% of public satisfaction on police services.

(Source)

But then again, statistics are at the best is just an indicator and not necessarily reflect the actual crime rate as the computation of the reduction in crime rate is also dependant on other factors like the increase of the population overall and by types and severity of the criminal act. The reliance of statistics alone gets worse if the statistics are manipulated to show better rates as this finding on NYP’s crime statistics shows:-

An anonymous survey of nearly 2,000 retired officers found that the manipulation of crime reports — downgrading crimes to lesser offenses and discouraging victims from filing complaints to make crime statistics look better — has long been part of the culture of the New York Police Department.

The results showed that pressure on officers to artificially reduce crime rates, while simultaneously increasing summonses and the number of people stopped and often frisked on the street, has intensified in the last decade, the two criminologists who conducted the research said in interviews this week. Mr. Browne said the summary’s conclusions drew on respondents’ perceptions, which were not supported by the facts.

According to the summary, for example, a majority of respondents indicated that they lacked confidence in the accuracy of the Police Department’s crime statistics, which reflect an 80 percent drop in major crimes since 1990. Many of the retired officers who participated in the survey said they believed crime had declined since 1990, but “not to the extent claimed by N.Y.P.D. management,” the summary said.

(Source)

As I said, statistics are at the best is just an indicator. There is no point praising the statistics if petty theft crime rate had decreased but armed robbery crime have increased at the same time (Tony Pua’s contention that the current statistics does not detailed statistics by districts or by type of crime) and if the necessary follow-up action have been done. The Government no doubt must continue to evaluate the measures already taken to bring down the crime rate (even though the statistics may show good figures) – what works must be continued with more vigour, commitment and frequency and what does not work should be shelved and replaced something more effective.

We have commenced the biometric registration for the foreign workers but how effective it is considering that we continue to have criminals in disguise of students from Nigeria (“students” from Iran is another time-bomb waiting to blow – just wait and see) to continue to come over to this country to create trouble and commit crime (although the authorities have closed the gap) and now having South American & Middle Eastern criminals doing high profiled crimes in the country – how long it is going to be before things gets worse and foreign criminals start running the show in this country?

And have we started to look into the legal loopholes and stiffer punishment for the repeated hard-core criminals? How many of them have come out and committed the same crime, perhaps with fatal consequences?

Someone who I know was robbed just a couple days and when talking to the policemen who were very helpful, understanding and determined to solve the case, we heard the sheer frustration from the men in blue. They lament on how they put in the hours (on top of other cases to be solved with pressure from the top, the politicians and the public) and pull in the resources to catch the criminals only to see these criminals back on the streets (committing more crimes) due to loopholes in the law and legal procedures. And when some people die in the act of pursuit and arrest, the police are often blamed as being too aggressive and trigger happy whilst the common criminals elevated to a hero status (read Durai’s excellent “Funeral of a Macha” post for a take on this).

And since we are very concerned on the trend and ease of foreigners (who according to the police are professionals) committing crimes in this country, we should re-look into how the current law addresses crimes committed by these foreign criminals. Just like how foreigners have to pay more for health services and petrol in this country, I think they should “pay” more for their crimes as well. The prison terms or the number of whipping that is provided under the normal law should, automatically and mandatory, be doubled (or tripled) if the criminal charged is a foreigner (of course in due time, high penalty should apply for all criminals – local or foreign).

At the end of the day, we just want to be safe, not only for the citizen of this country but also for foreigners who are here on legitimate reasons but at the same time, the law of this country and the enforcement of it should be so severe and swift that the last thing anyone want to do in the country is to commit crime.

Read these too:-

Hishamuddin Sleeping On The Job

Defenders of traffic criminals vs our fight against crime

Drug Traffickers And Criminals. Is Malaysia A Magnet ?

Snipers & Helmet-less Idiots


I am not sure whether further toughening of the existing traffic laws would make any difference to the current statistics without a proper follow up with the enforcement of the said laws (or by some miracle, a change of attitude).

Read this:-

The maximum fines for three traffic offences were proposed to be increased because such violations caused many road deaths, said the Road Transport Department (JPJ). JPJ deputy director-general Datuk Ismail Ahmad said Tuesday the three traffic offences – driving without a licence, exceeding the speed limit and ignoring traffic signals – also resulted in many cases of injuries and damage to public property.

The Bill also proposed for a minimum fine of RM300 to be imposed for the three offences, as well as for failing to display a vehicle registration number according to specifications.

However, he said traffic offenders can be hauled up to court if they repeat violations as often as three times in two months. The Road Transport (Amendment) Bill 2012 seeks to increase the maximum fine from the current RM1,000 to RM2,000. The proposed amendment also seeks to increase the maximum speeding fine from RM1,000 to RM2,000. It proposes to increase the maximum fine for those who ignore traffic signals from RM500 to RM2,000.

(Source)

Last weekend I had to pass through the fucked up Kampung Medan to meet up someone and I will be going again this week (you see, I have no other choice – there are still good people living in this area) and despite the road safety awareness campaign on the media and call for stricter laws, there are too many idiots on the road riding around without any helmets and some of them riding on the wrong side of the road as well (most of them are young, foolish as usual with their equally idiotic parents allowing them to do so).

After narrowly missing hitting a helmet-less idiot on a motorcycle who was riding on the wrong side of the road (and who had the cheek to horn me to move away from my legal lane), I expressed my disappointment (and anger) on the enforcement agencies that seemed to have conveniently missing from the “scene of the crime”. My wife wondered the same – where are the police and RTD officers manning road blocks, confiscating the motorcycles and throwing these idiots into the windowless detention cells? Where is the enforcement? After all, these idiots would not have been too brave to be riding around with heavy traffic all around wearing shorts & flip-flops and not wearing any helmets if there has been a serious crackdown from the enforcement agencies in this area.

(Wearing the right gear and riding responsibly is what makes the difference between a good sensible motorcyclist and an idiot on a killing machine. Not having enough money to buy the right gear is not an excuse and unfortunately the Government too have been rather lax in enforcing motorcyclists to wear the right gear when they are on the road – a typical 1st class facility, 3rd world mentality. Image source: Google Image)

Perhaps enforcement by the police & RTD has been done but it is clear that it is not enough and more importantly, is not done on a regular basis. Perhaps the enforcement agencies have done all they can and have despite everything they have done, nothing much have changed. So even though the Government is proposing to increase the fines for traffic offences, without proper and regular enforcement (or other stronger measures in place), there is nothing much, they can do in getting the road users to abide by the said rules. The Automated Enforcement System may be helpful in some areas but we have yet to see the effectiveness of the system and unfortunately it does not cover all types of traffic offences (including traffic offence of not wearing a helmet).

What else can be done? We see helmet-less idiots in other places as well and they remain stubborn as ever and continues to be a nuisance and dangerous to other road users.

As I was driving back feeling angry and frustrated as these idiots continue to weave in and out in front of my car, an interesting (or rather a very nasty) idea came to my mind. If I had the powers, this is what I would do – it is simple really:-

Just get the army’s top 5 snipers and place them hidden around the area with a simple instruction – pick any idiot who is on the motorcycle weaving in and out of traffic and without any helmets and take them out with one clean shot to the head.

And they should be doing this the whole day until no idiot is left to be riding around without any helmet and everyone has wise up and start wearing the helmet. A couple of days later, unannounced, the whole process should be repeated again (because by now some idiots would go back to their usual ways thinking the enforcement have stopped). Trust me, after a couple of unannounced sniping, no idiot would dare to venture out on motorcycle without any helmet – a long outstanding and nagging problem solved immediately.

And once this has shown its immediate “success” in the lawless Kampung Medan, such programs should be be expanded to others areas (namely residential areas) where idiots on motorcycle is a norm. And over a very short time, seeing an idiot on the motorcycle weaving in and out of the traffic without any helmets would be a very rare thing.

In the end, it is just a wishful thinking – it will not (I won’t say never) happen of course but we need to do something serious about people who break traffic rules on a regular basis and without any care or thought on other road users [read here on what I think the Government can do to ensure motorcyclists keep themselves and others safe whilst on the road]

I have seen people riding around without any helmet in many places including my residential area but it seems to be at worse scale in Kampung Medan and the surrounding areas (if you drive through this place, you will know what I mean). And I am only making it as an issue because I have drive through the same place in recent times and in both occasions I nearly knock down an idiot on the road even though I kept to my lane and followed the prescribed speed. I don’t really care whether that idiot in the end dies or seriously maimed for life (which probably make my day) but I do not want incur unnecessary repairs cost, time and nuisance  due to other people’s stupidity and recklessness.  You don’t want the same, I am sure.

So, now how soon we can deploy those snipers?

AES: Asking the Right Questions


UPDATE 1: Read FAQ from JPJ on AES here

Back to the original post

Oh dear, another opposition politician jumping to defence the criminals on the road…

(It’s about time – a simple flow on how the Automated Enforcement System works. It covers speeding & beating the red light offenses but what about other types of offenses like road hogging, cutting in and out of traffic without any proper indication, riding around without wearing any helmet? When we can have a similar automated enforcement system for it? Image source: http://www.skyscrapercity.com / TheStar)

The Barisan Nasional Government in awarding the Automated Enforcement System (“AES”) Project to Beta Tegap Sdn Bhd and ATES Sdn Bhd whereby the two private companies in return for installing cameras in 831 locations will be entitled to a share of fines, of which fines for unpaid traffic summonses for 2000 to 2009 amounted to RM5.8 billion, has created a situation where there is a conflict of interest amounting to gross derogation of the Government’s duty to promote road safety.

Under the business model the companies will receive a share of the fines on three levels. At the first level each of the companies firstly will receive RM16.00 for each traffic summons for the first 5 million summonses issued, for summons issued after 5 million the companies receive as the second level payment 50% of the balance of the summonses up to RM270 million per year and after RM270 million they receive further payments at the third level of 7.5% of the balance of the summonses. The companies’ internal projection is that they will achieve an internal rate of return of 17% based on 10 million summonses issued each year.

Revenue tied to summonses issued

By reason of revenue being tied to the number of summonses issued, the business model for the two companies and Ministry of Transport will depend on ensuring that the number of speeding violations must not be less than 10 million each year and if they are to increase their profits and growth over the years the number of speeding violations must by necessity be increased accordingly.

The Government in turning the issuance of traffic summonses into a business for the maximization of profits has derogated from its duty to promote road safety. This is because if motorists keep to the speed limits these two companies will not be able to make any profits. Since business profits are contingent on a minimum number of traffic summonses being issued this model is incompatible with any programme to promote road safety and reduce speeding. There is thus a serious flaw in this AES Project.

Don’t maximise profits from summonses

The Ministry of Transport should not be looking to traffic summons as a profit center. The Ministry of Transport should be looking towards a study whether the speed limits are too low in the light of modern highway design. The ministry should be looking at ways to reduce speeding and road accidents.

An example is the police programme such as Ops Sikap. Road safety is improved by the physical presence of the police where a friendly warning not to speed is more effective than an injudicious mechanical taking of pictures by hidden cameras. Not all speeding is wrong. The police has on many occasions assisted motorists by acting as outriders for drivers rushing someone to the emergency ward of a hospital. The automatic cameras in the AES when implemented not only cannot assist but will issue summonses to every ambulance and fire engine rushing to save lives and property.

Money-making frenzy

This privatization of traffic summonses is an example of the Barisan Nasional Government having lost sight of its duties to the people in their feeding frenzy to make money out of every conceivable aspect of government.

I ask the Prime Minister to review this AES Project because road safety cannot be compromised and should not be turned into a business venture.

In a related matter, Dr Chua Soi Lek in his capacity as President of MCA has denied that Beta Tegap Sdn Bhd or ATES Sdn Bhd is linked to MCA. However, this project was mooted and implemented under the watch of three Ministers of Transport, all of whom are from the MCA.

I ask Dr Chua and Dato Sri Kong Cho Har, the present Minister of Transport to disclose the date this AES Project was awarded and whether the directors or shareholders of these two companies are known to the Minister or Ministers concerned.

William Leong Jee Keen is the PKR Member of Parliament for Selayang

(Source)

Leong may be harping on the wrong tree but before we analyze what Leong is saying, let’s get some facts right.

Firstly, no amount of sweet talk and soft approach will ever change the way Malaysians behave themselves on the road. Some will remain hard-core bastards to the end and they will only change once you whack them hard with a thick cane. You don’t have to go far to see these bastards in action – just count how motorcyclists riding around in your neighborhood without wearing any helmets. Strict enforcement of the law is the only way to ensure less traffic offenses committed on Malaysian roads.

Secondly, we lack an effective mean of enforcing the traffic laws. Yes, we have the police but then again, as we have seen in Ops Sikap year in, year out, we cannot expect the policemen to be around everywhere all the time and the moment the eyes of the law is nowhere to be seen, this is when the traffic laws gets abused. And it has been abused on a regular basis for some time now.

Automated Enforcement System (“AES”) should resolve this shortcoming in many ways. And there are another benefits too – by outsourcing the enforcement system on traffic offenses and verification to issue summons to private companies, the police would be freed up to do other more critical policing work. It may save them some infrastructure and logistics costs too.

Leong is contending that because the revenue of the private companies is tied to the number of summonses issued, the number of speeding violations need to be maintained not be less than 10 million each year and if they are to increase their profits and growth over the years the number of speeding violations must by necessity be increased accordingly. In other words, he implies that the number of speeding violations will be increased arbitrarily just to ensure profitability of the private companies remain unchanged and because of this, the focus of AES has gone awry. He also claims shortcomings of the AES (even before it is implemented) – that AES when implemented issue summonses to every ambulance and fire engine rushing to save lives and property. Really?

Yes, it is possible to some extent but then again, we should look at it from another point of view.

By tying the revenue of the two companies handling the camera installation to the number of summonses issued, aren’t we just ensuring effectiveness of the AES since a defective installation and poor traffic offense verification will mean less summons issued and this in turn translates to lower revenues? And by entitling a share of the fines in return for installing cameras, doesn’t this mean that the Government can opt to forgo using taxpayers funds for the installation of the cameras since these payments will now come directly from the traffic offenders?

On the onset, it does look like a win-win situation. So, instead of making general statement that the BN is out to make a profit from traffic summons and the wasteful plea to look at soft ways to reduce speeding and road accidents (Leong is really wasting his time here), Leong should be asking these questions:-

1. What is the scope of work? Will it be just installation? Or does that also include maintenance, summons and payment processing and other services as well? Are there any hidden commissions involved and we are getting the best price in the open market for that given scope of work?

2. What is the strength of the two private companies in installing the cameras for AES? It does not matter if they are directly or indirectly linked to BN but we need to know if they are competent enough to handle the enforcement system or are they going to outsource or sub-contract the work to another company and enjoy the free ride in return? What is their expertise in handling the enforcement system? What is their track record? How they were selected in the first place? Was it through an open tender or based on some kind of strict evaluation?

3. What is the detail of the payment structure? For summons issued but not collected, where the Government intends to get the funds to pay the companies the first 50%? Note that RM16.00 is to be paid for each traffic summons for the first 5 million summonses and this itself works out to RM80 million.

4. Assuming the installation cost (and surely maintenance cost) has been worked out, for how long we allow the two companies to take a share of the fines when it should be passed to the Government as an alternative source of income?

5. What is the term of the “concessionaire contract”? Has the terms of the contract been vetted through strictly to avoid the recurrence of the lopsided terms that now haunts toll concessionaire contracts? Is there any term that will allow the Government to restructure the payment terms in the future? Is there any penalty clauses incorporated to ensure that the private companies does not short-change the Government on the quality of camera installed and workmanship of the camera installation?

6. What if the projection of the summons issued (to meet the installation & maintenance cost) falls short in the coming months? What if by some miracle, Malaysians decided to behave themselves on the road and the number of summons issued drops drastically? Since the revenue of the companies is tied to number of summons, are we going to subsidize the companies for their “losses”?

7. What are assurances that the traffic users sensitive information is safe-guarded from any unauthorized party?

These are some of the questions that Leong should have asked in the first place. And wrongly branding the collection traffic summons to profit frenzy is not the right direction that we suppose to head when it comes to dealing with stubborn traffic offenders and when we are serious about reducing the fatalities on the road.

Yes, we are aware that privatization and outsourcing in the country at times riddled with cronyism, monopoly, abuse of public funds and lopsided agreements but that should not stop us from seeing the bigger picture which is to enforce the traffic law and reduce road fatalities in this country. We desperately need the automated enforcement system and we need it to implemented it to be highly efficient, strict and without any favors to the stubborn traffic offenders on the road. Let’s start with the right objective and questions in mind.

The Blitzkrieg on Fake African Students


In a way, a positive development in the fight against fake Africa students…

(By all means, we welcome foreigners for the benefit of education, business and tourism sectors but what we do not welcome is them ending up as a menace and start committing crime in this country)

Despite the arrests, don’t you feel angry when some bastard foreigners and come over and piss on our good hospitality and abuse the student visas and commit criminal activities?

Yet another drug trafficking syndicate with African links was crippled by the Selangor police recently. Nine Nigerian men and three local women were nabbed in separate raids, with the seizure of ganja and syabu worth about RM300,000.

The suspects, aged between 25 and 33, are believed to be students of private institutions in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur. Selangor Narcotics Crime Department chief ACP Nordin Kadir said Wednesday that initial investigations indicated the Nigerians had been operating in this country since last year, and smuggled the drugs for the local market, including classmates.

The nine suspects have been placed under a seven-day remand, beginning Feb 20, to facilitate investigations under 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act which carries the mandatory death penalty upon conviction.

(Source)

Don’t you get angry? If I am a genuine student from the same continent, I would be angry with these criminals abusing student visas and give a bad name to all students from the continent. I would be angry with them for creating a sense of apprehension, fear and wrong impressions with the locals.

And if I am an immigration officer, I would be angry knowing that there are some bad apples in the department who had been plainly careless or may even been highly corrupted in granting student visas without a proper check of the background of the students or college – the fact that these bastards coming over to learn English in some dubious college should have rung the alarm in any immigration officer’s mind from the very start.

African menace as the one above and that includes Iranians drug mules, drug dealers and now, assassins posing as students has been one pain in the neck. But then, after a long time, there seem to be some light at the end of the tunnel:-

Malaysia has tightened the visa application process from foreigners wanting to study here to curb rising cases of permit abuse. The applications would be screened by the police first, Home Ministry secretary-general Tan Sri Mahmood Adam said in a press statement yesterday.

This was among the new measures to ensure only genuine students would be given approval, he added. Mahmood said his ministry and other regulatory authorities had worked to streamline procedures involving foreign students.

(Source)

And further:-

The decision to stop granting visas on arrival and social visit passes to foreign students could curtail crimes, including prostitution involving foreigners claiming to be students of private institutions of higher learning in the country.

Bukit Aman anti-vice, gaming and secret societies (D7) principal assistant director Datuk Abdul Jalil Hassan said the police had discussed the matter with the Immigration Department before making the recommendation to the Higher Education Ministry to stop issuing such visas and visit passes to foreign students to check the abuse.

Most of the students arrested for alleged involvement in criminal activities were pursuing short courses, such as language skills, at private colleges not under the ministry’s supervision, he told Bernama on Monday.

He was commenting on the Higher Education Ministry’s decision to stop issuing visas on arrival and social visit passes to foreign students to check the abuse. Its minister, Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said visas would only be issued to foreign students after they received an offer from public or private institutions of higher learning under the ministry’s supervision.

(Source)

Admittedly this should have been done a long, long time ago but at least, the Government seemed to moving its fat big butt in enforcing the student visa rules and we just hope that this change of policy will be closely followed up with proper enforcement.

A good chance for the Home Minister to put good of his words that Malaysia is not a safe transit for criminals

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Spotlight on African Menace


(Still remember the audacity of Africans to fight the local authorities in Mantin? Does it not count as a serious threat to national security? Image source)

Whilst we welcome genuine Africans students to come over and get their higher education to better themselves and their country, we do not want criminals in disguise as students to come over and start creating problems and commit serious crimes here. And regrettably the number of menace caused by these Africans seems to be on a worrying trend.

From Norman Fernandez (via OutSyed The Box)

In recent weeks, newspapers have been highlighting, police and immigration raids and arrest of Africans in Malaysia. In some instance, the Africans while trying to evade arrest were brazen enough to attack the police with metal rods. The temerity of them! Clearly Africans in Malaysia have moved from being a nuisance, to a menace and now they are fast becoming a threat to national security

For some time Malaysians have been watching with great uneasiness, the growing influx of Africans into Malaysia. It would seem that many Africans are purported coming into Malaysia as students but in truth many of them are using this merely as a conduit to enter into this country, either to misuse their visas, overstay and become illegals or be involved in crime. Harian Metro in October 2006, reported that Africans have gone from being customers at brothels to running brothels with some earning up to RM1,000.00 per day. If that is not surprising, Utusan Malaysian on Sunday December 18, disclosed of an African who arrived in this country with only clothes on his back and then went on to build a RM400 million five star hotel back in Africa all from the money earned by cheating people in Malaysia.

Africans after arriving have moved on and created mini colonies in areas around Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Negri Sembilan. With their loutish and boorish behavior, they are not only a nuisance but also a disturbance in many neighbourhoods. In short they have become a menace

We have to admit that Malaysia has lost the fight against Indonesian immigrants either illegally entering Malaysia or overstaying. Let us now not lose also the fight against the Africans. Apprehending Africans is not the job of the police alone. People seeing Africans staying or being present in their neighbourhood ( unlike Indonesians, Africans are easily identifiable) must call the local police station and if no action is forthcoming call the Ketua Polis Negeri. If all attempts have failed then email me at anfalaw@streamyx.com Whatever do not do what the dumb assed Senator Datuk Paul Kong Sing Chu whose advise was “the best is to totally avoid them”. Really ?

I leave you with a chilling comment posted by a Nigerian in the Malay Mail Online “ I assure u (sic) that one day Nigerians will begin to contest for political posts in your country and if u (sic) are not careful they will gain victory, it has happen in so many places and Malaysia is no exception”.

Malaysians take heed… we have been warned by Africans themselves !

The question is what is Malaysia – the authorities and the Malaysians as whole (the menace would not grow without some locals in collusion) is planning to do to curb this menace. It’s high time we relook at the extent of our hospitality when it comes to Africans who commit crimes and become nuisance to others, tighten the immigration laws and ban them outright from this country if they failed to meet the very stringent immigration requirements. We need to keep up the enforcement (like this) and with biometrics facilities in places, it will not hard for us to enforce the laws and banning the troublemakers from the country.

Read my previous posts on this as well:-

Con Jobs

Why They Are Here?

African Menace in Puchong

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