For two consecutive weeks, the Cabinet spent a great deal of time discussing the AES. The "review" sessions followed threats by some political extremists to vandalise surveillance cameras aimed at deterring traffic criminals and offenders, some legal doubts and other technicalities.
I have been told by reliable sources that the Cabinet was satisfied that the AES has shown to be a highly effective deterrent, indeed. The number of traffic offences caught on existing cameras have gone down by as much as 80 per cent!
"That, by any standard, is remarkable," said the source.
The Cabinet agreed that new element should be added to the AES, especially now that Malaysians are greatly more aware and generally not averse it (because the system does not affect those who drive according to the traffic laws and regulations).
These elements have been described as "more humane/considerate/Rakyat-friendly/caring.
For details, please wait for an official statement.
So to those who were celebrating the demise of the AES yesterday, too bad. Like I have said, the system is internationally tried and tested and it is good for road users in general, so why fix it? More than 16,000 people have paid their fines and they - together with others who have been issues summonses - are not likely to make the same mistakes. Those rempits are actually stopping when the light turns red!
A lot of things can be improved, of course. Some people expect the JPJ and the operators to get everything right from the word GO. How can? In the UK, where there are said to be some 1.8 million surveillance cameras, the authorities are still being challenged. It will take a little while before the system can be perfected, but the important thing is to get it going full speed ahead and not allowing those extremists to stop or delay it for their cheap political gains.