Nearly three years after its suspension by the Attorney-General Chambers (AG), the controversial Automated Enforcement System (AES) is set to return to service, claims a report by The Edge Markets.
The report said Boustead Holdings Bhd (which also owns BHPetrol), will be taking over the operation of AES from Beta Tegap Sdn Bhd and Automated Traffic Enforcement System (ATES) Sdn. Bhd., the original holders of the AES concession.
It said that Boustead’s main shareholder Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tenteran (LTAT), will be purchasing Beta Tegap and ATES from their original shareholders via a new Boustead controlled company called Irat Properties Sdn. Bhd, which Boustead reportedly paid RM250 million to acquire.
The report also added that Boustead’s Deputy Chairman-cum-Managing Director Tan Sri Lodin Wok Kamaruddin had told The Edge Markets that an announcement on the relaunch of AES will be made within the next one or two weeks.
AES began operation in September 2012 but it quickly became a sore point to the public because of several controversies in its implementation – the lack of transparency with accident statistics used to justify the placement of AES cameras, appointing two private companies to enforce traffic regulations at the cost RM700 million, AES operators profiting from the issuance of summonses (reportedly at RM16 per summon), contest from local city councils over the setting up of AES in their area, and overlapping legal jurisdiction with the police.
In December 2012, the AG moved in to suspend AES until further notice.
Public support also reached a new low when The Edge reported that the government is going to compensate Beta Tegap and ATES to the tune of RM1 billion in total after their suspension by the AG.
The government has refuted claims that it is paying RM1 billion in but at the same time refused to disclose any further details.
The then-Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan told the press in December 2013, “My answer is the same. It is secret, and it cannot be discussed. It is still being negotiated.”
The latest report by The Edge Markets quoted Lodin as saying that the impasse have been settled. “I can say it (settlement) is mutual on both sides,” Lodin told The Edge Markets.