RM70 million for AVSS to collect traffic fines from Singaporeans – 24 years to recoup if system can last that long

RM70 million for AVSS to collect traffic fines from Singaporeans

A news report in last week’s New Sunday Times (18.3.07) caught the attention of an eagle-eyed reader, Tan Poh Soon, who has emailed about how ridiculous it was to spend RM70 million to instal a system to collect traffic fines from Singaporeans, which will take some 24 years to recoup the cost if the system could last that long:

While reading a news regarding Singaporean motorists paid a total of RM8 million in Malaysia traffic fines over the past three years, i noticed that it is also mentioned that the outstanding summon are being track down with a system known as Automated Vehicle Screening System.

According to the news, there are currently 24 unit of such system, where each unit cost RM2.9 million. The news also reported that the relevant department will add more of such unit at various places.

I’m wondering what is the rationale of installing such system which is so much expensive. Even if the system are able to track down RM8 million of unpaid summons every 3 years. It will still need at least 24 years to recoup the investment.

Do take note that this does not include the opportunity cost, interest and maintenance cost. Furthermore, i doubt that such system will be able to last 24 years.

Apart from this, i’m also curious about the the following:

1. is the tendering process for such system is tranparent?

2. Is there no other better and cost effective solution to tracked down the upaid summon?

The RM70 million AVSS acquisition does not make sense. Horror of horrors, the purchase and installation of more AVSS units at all entry and exit points nationwide are being planned.

Wasn’t any cost-benefit done before the Transport Ministry and Road Transport Department go on a spending spree to splurge tens of millions of ringgit on new equipments, which cannot be justified by any ROI study?

Who are the real beneficiaries of the RM70 million AVSS scandal?
Over to Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Chong Kong Choy – what say you?

The New Sunday Times referred to by Poh Soon is as follows:

Singapore motorists settle RM8m in traffic fines
By Jassmine Shadiqe

JOHOR BARU: A total of RM8 million in traffic fines has been collected from Singaporeans over the past three years, thanks to the Road Transport Department’s Automated Vehicle Screening System (AVSS).

The department has collected fines from 73,630 outstanding traffic summonses issued to Singaporeans since the system was installed in April 2004.

“There is only RM200,000 in unpaid traffic summonses left and the
Singaporeans have a 45-day grace period to settle them,” said RTD deputy director-general Solah Mat Hassan.

Each AVSS unit costs RM2.9 million and the department has 24 units installed in Johor, at the three main entry and exit points – the Causeway, Tanjung Puteri Customs Complex and the Second Link.

Two are installed at the entry points and 12 at the exit points of the Causeway; two at the Tanjung Puteri Customs Complex exit points; and four each at the entry and exit points of the Second Link.

Solah said the department was waiting for the green light from the federal government to instal AVSS units at all entry and exit points nationwide.

He said there were also plans for other enforcement agencies, such as the Johor Baru Municipal Council, to share information from the system.

If the vehicle owner has an outstanding traffic summons, his
particulars are updated into the system which is also online with the police and RTD database.

The unit scans the Singapore-registered vehicles’ number plates upon entering the country.

The offender is given a 45-day grace period to settle the summons.

If the summons is not settled during that period, the offender will not be allowed to leave the country until he does so.

Solah said initial concerns that the system would cause Singaporean motorists to shy away from entering Malaysia proved untrue as statistics showed that was no reduction in the number.

Although RTD officials admit the system has its glitches, they are
still happy with its overall effectiveness.

Solah said the AVSS units were sensitive and frequently break down.

“Sometimes the breakdown lasts up to two weeks.

“Still, the effectiveness of the system cannot be doubted. The figures do not lie.”

  1. #1 by raven77 on Sunday, 25 March 2007 - 12:16 pm

    For how long are we to tolerate this blatant thievery. Perhaps the opposition should start organising civil disobedience. Do a Martin Luther King or Ghandhi or something…..this country has become so corrupt there appears to be no conscience for blatant cheating. Worse still these qualities that to cheat is OK as long as you make a buck may spread to schools and children….what sought of society and values are we going to create….

  2. #2 by Educator on Sunday, 25 March 2007 - 12:19 pm

    The people involved in this outrageous scheme failed primary school math. Or are they the beneficiaries?

  3. #3 by firstMalaysian on Sunday, 25 March 2007 - 12:22 pm

    How can we tolerate this? YB LKS, please this up to Parliament. This will make Malaysia a laughing stock. This is the most stupid thing I have come across.
    Obviously , Kong Choy must explain

  4. #4 by megaman on Sunday, 25 March 2007 - 12:59 pm

    actually such as a system is generally a good idea because:

    a) it can be used to track vehicles going into and out of the country, thus can be used to stop stolen vehicles n etc.

    b) helps in collection of unpaid fines

    c) automate certain routines, e.g. track and allow express buses going in and out and pay the necessary toll later using some fixed banking accts thus making travel by buses faster.

    etc etc. Other benefits can discovered if enough thoughts are placed into it.

    However, Poh Soon is also right in pointed the unsound economics behind the project.

    a) Why such a huge cost ? 2.9 Mil for each machine ? We can buy a supercomputer with such price.

    b) Why such a limited focus on collecting unpaid fines? Such a system has a wider application possibility than it is right now. Any proper plans on utilizing the system for such applications?

    c) Transparency ? Cost-benefit analysis ? Return of Investment analysis ? Sigh ..

    d) Like Poh Soon mentioned as well. Are they more cost effective methods of collecting the fines ? Y use pounds to chase pennies ?

  5. #5 by izrafeil on Sunday, 25 March 2007 - 1:26 pm

    Duit rakyat dikikis habis-habisan, masuk kocek beberapa orang sahaja. Inilah cara Melayu kita, pencuri kecil kena kau kau penjara, budak2 khalwat kena tangkap, pencuri harta negara lepas begitu sahaja!

  6. #6 by k1980 on Sunday, 25 March 2007 - 1:30 pm

    As usual, there will be no open tender for AVSS systems. You and I know who will get the contracts. And you can bet Chong Kong Choy will swear on his ancestors’ graves and deny any hanky panky in the awarding of the contracts.

  7. #7 by negarawan on Sunday, 25 March 2007 - 1:33 pm

    Justification for RM70mil project? Simple enough. Somebody’s company pockets 30-40%, then give out a few percent to those that approved it.

    Justification for 20% pay increase for police force, when crime level in Malaysia is at an all time high, and many of them are enjoying “duit kopi” already? Beats me. This can only happen in Malaysia…..

  8. #8 by raven77 on Sunday, 25 March 2007 - 2:33 pm

    Come to think of it, did we really need the 100M low cost terminal at Sepang when the KLIA is so deserted? It is because the Transport Minister and his cronys needed a reason just as in this case to find a way to make money. It appears that the MCA has joined the band wagon to rip us public off of whatever little we have. Malaysians can’t even afford to pay income-tax now why do you need all this stuff at the borders. At the rate we are going income tax department will block all of us from leaving the country anyway……

  9. #9 by Loh on Sunday, 25 March 2007 - 2:37 pm

    Two reasons for doing that. The more the government spends, the more commissions. Bolehland cannot allow Singaporean motorists escape fines, the cost does not matter. How else can Bolehland claim to be boleh?

  10. #10 by smeagroo on Sunday, 25 March 2007 - 2:50 pm

    that’s the haha-hari system for you courtesy of AAB. Looks like he is so quiet lately on the blatant plundering by his men.

  11. #11 by WFH on Sunday, 25 March 2007 - 5:35 pm

    Without doubt, some party(ies) sure have abundant feel-good feelings, GE or no GE.

    Wonder of wonders, didn’t anyone in Govt even think whether, or how, each AVSS unit can or cannot pay for itself, and more particularly within what time-frame? This govt fails even lower secondary maths – or is it conveniently omitted so that the spoils are kongsi-kongsi ‘d, thinking the rakyat will miss this one?

    It’s one helluva time to be Malaysian….. Oh! What a feeling….!!!!

  12. #12 by sheriff singh on Sunday, 25 March 2007 - 11:35 pm

    Aiyah, we must show and announce to the whole world that we have first world technology.

    Never mind if they breakdown frequently and are out of service for weeks. We must have ‘style’. Its called first world technology with third world administration, maintenance and mentality.

    We have lots of money to waste, to pass down quickly.

    If we wrongly prevent foreigners from leaving the country, will we be liable for wrongful detention? Recently a British fellow won a RM 3 million case against the government and IRD department for wrongfully preventing him from leaving the country for umpteen years.

  13. #13 by greenacre on Sunday, 25 March 2007 - 11:35 pm

    We can apply the deductive theory of reasoning whether the maggi mi 20 sen becomes one ringgit if we get the the company or person who supplied this computers.
    It looks like someone here must have worked with singapore’s kidney foundation.

  14. #14 by bbtan on Monday, 26 March 2007 - 12:23 am

    Long long long ago when RM 1.00= Sing $ 1.00 I entered Singapore regularly to buy tax free items. To exit I had to pass through a roadblock manned by a police officer. The traffic wasn’t seriously held up because he kept waving the vehicles on as he sat by a desk looking at a screen. Isn”t that a most cost effective vehicle screening system?

  15. #15 by Godamn Singh on Monday, 26 March 2007 - 4:03 am

    Yes. That must be in the early 70s.

  16. #16 by k1980 on Monday, 26 March 2007 - 1:57 pm

    Even if the pay of policemen were to go up by 200%, there would still be the taking of bribes, because of human greed. The only way to stop this is to offer the IGP’s salary scale to everyone in the police department. Then every police constable is as rich as the IGP and therefore has no need to take bribes. But then again, why did the deputy internal security minister, despite his 5-figure pay, still…

  17. #17 by Iusop on Monday, 26 March 2007 - 2:04 pm

    Since when sums are done or payback calculated before embarking on anything? Remember the lights on top of lorries to catch them speeding? At one time most of the lorries were speeding away with the lights blinking away…!

    Then there were the speed cameras along the highways – whatever happened to them? What happened to those who came out with the ideas and spent the money? One of them got a Tun! Niamah!

  18. #18 by undergrad2 on Tuesday, 27 March 2007 - 4:45 am

    “The only way to stop this is to offer the IGP’s salary scale to everyone in the police department. Then every police constable is as rich as the IGP and therefore has no need to take bribes…”

    The taking of bribes is not peculiar to third world countries. In the U.S. public officials are routinely indicted for corruption.

    The only way to stem corruption is to enforce the law. In Malaysia we need to bring back the rule of law. Period.

  19. #19 by incubus on Tuesday, 27 March 2007 - 2:10 pm

    I really shun to think how plans such as these were approved and implemented by the learned gomen. If only their brains were as big as their pockets. 70 million to recoup 8.2 million = Malaysia Boleh!

    Since there are so many unemployed Malay graduates, it would be much more economical to hire them to screen these cars. But then again, there’d be no money to be made there..

  20. #20 by bbtan on Tuesday, 27 March 2007 - 9:40 pm

    Yes, Why not employ the jobless graduate to do the MVSS(manual vehical screening system) like they do in Spore in the 70s?

    Malaysia boleh!

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