In the past 24 hours, two UMNO MPs have broken ranks and swung their support for Pakatan Rakyat’s call for the immediate suspension of the Automatic Enforcement System (AEA) for traffic offences, pending full study of various public interest issues related to its implementation.
The first to do so is the UMNO Youth leader and MP for Rembau Khairy Jamaluddin who, after a meeting of the UMNO Youth executive council yesterday, called for the government to defer the implementation of AES as a review of the system was necessary to rectify weaknesses in it.
Today, a UMNO MP for Sabah, Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin, who is also Deputy Chairman of Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club (BNBBC) also crossed the political divide to back the PR call for suspension of AES.
The Pakatan Rakyat state governments of Penang, Selangor, Kedah and Kelantan have already suspended approval for the implementation of the AES until conclusion of full study and a proper consultation process with all the relevant stakeholders.
The question now is whether there is any MCA MP, Deputy Minister or Minister who dare to break ranks to call for immediate suspension of AES to produce the first fruit of MCA’s two-year-old “high profile politics” or whether all the boasts of “high profile politics” are just bunkum.
Since the Transport Minister, Datuk Kong Cho Ha has refused to listen to the legitimate concerns about the implementation of the AES, I call on all Barisan Nasional MPs, whether Minister, Deputy Minister or ordinary backbencher; whether UMNO, MCA, Gerakan, MIC or other BN component parties; whether from Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah or Sarawak, to follow the example of Khairy and Bung Mokhtar to support the call for the immediate suspension of AES.
MPs from both PR and BN can effect an immediate suspension of the AES by adopting a common position during the committee stage of the 2013 Budget debate on the Transport Ministry on 20th November 2012.
Pakatan Rakyat has 76 MPs and if there are at least another 36 MPs from Barisan Nasional and Independents who support the suspension of the AES to make a total of a parliamentary majority of at least 112 out of 222 MPs, then Kong Cho Ha would have no choice but to resign as Transport Minister if he refuses to heed the voice of the majority of MPs to immediately suspend AES.