AES camera

Why, why, tell us why, Loke?

The mixed signals are baffling. It’s so baffling and confusing just like when Jeremy Clarkson, while reviewing the Mazda RX8, pointed at the car’s brake lights and said its design was “busier than an archbishop’s hat”.

But enthusiasts know the RX8 and its more powerful sibling the RX7 have so much more to offer.

And sitting comfortably in the equation of portraying a confusing outlook is Anthony Loke. But those who know him insist he too has plenty to offer.

Now let’s look at Loke’s eyebrow raising statements.

On Aug 17, the Transport Minister said getting rid of Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) will save the government RM38.5 million a year.

A day later, he said the government will write off more than 3.1 million in unpaid summons worth about RM435 million issued under the Automated Enforcement System (AES).

Relevance?

On Friday, Loke was speaking about saving money and 24 hours later he announced a decision like money was not a big thing for the government. This coming at a time when funds are being raised by Malaysians through Tabung Harapan Malaysia.

The AES began in 2012. It was the same year the then Barisan Nasional government appointed two companies to operate the system with RM16 from every summons issued would be paid to the companies. In 2015, the government ordered Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera, through its subsidiary Irat Properties, to take over the AES.

Based on the reports, over 3.1 million AES summonses worth RM435 million issued as of May 2018 are unpaid.

Even if the RM16 per summons contract was still in place, the government would still rake in (3.1 million x RM16) some RM385.4 million.

And the shocker was him saying the government will fully enforce the AES starting Sept 1 and summonses will be issued without exemptions.

It’s the school holidays. More vehicles are expected on our highways. For the record, Hari Raya Haji is on Wednesday. Wouldn’t such an announcement only encourage people to drive or ride fast on our highways?

Loke should drive or ride on our highways. Despite the AES and speed traps, people are still “flying”.

For those who have diligently paid their summonses, Loke could only say “sorry”.

And those who have stacked up their summonses, thinking it is ‘cool’ to be a speed demon, are celebrating.

Just like racing on a circuit, Loke took the lead in the first few laps when he entered office, requesting his staff not to treat him special and to start events on time. He was also strict in his approach.

Loke got new fans when he said those who find the uniform of stewardesses from local airlines as “sexy” should “look away”.

And then the statement regarding AES.

Perhaps Loke should drive an RX8 while listening to Anita Mui’s ‘Wai Nui Hai’ – a song every boy his generation grew up listening to – on our highways.

And when he sees how fast vehicles zoom past him, including those from Singapore, then he too will join Anita Mui when she sings “Why, why tell me why (did I say it)” – hopefully in regret over his AES announcement.