Friday, December 21, 2012

Kong Cho Ha should either voluntarily resign as the Transport Minister or be sacked.

Speech by M Kula Segaran, DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Ipoh Barat at PKR Ceramah held at Simpang Pulai , Perak on Thursday, December 20, 2012

Kong Cho Ha should either voluntarily resign as the Transport Minister or be sacked.

When Datuk Seri Najib became the nation’s 6th Prime Minister more than 3 years ago, he declared that the era where the government knows best is over.

He also came up with his People First, Performance Now slogan.

His declaration and slogan are of course nice to hear. But what is important is whether he can walk his talk or BN government is still like the same old government that cakap tidak serupa bikin?

There are many issues I can cite to prove that the Prime Minister and the BN government are still unable to walk the talk.  But I will just name one issue here, the Automatic Enforcement System (AES) issue.

Since its implementation, there has been strong criticism and growing resistance against the AES.

People who want the AES suspended or reviewed include elected representatives and grassroots supporters from both BN and Opposition camps.

Even CUEPECS and other NGOs have aired their concern about AES. 

Yet the Transport Minister Dato Kong Cho Ho has chosen not to listen to the legitimate concerns. He has even accused Pakatan Rakyat for not being concerned about accidents.

The Prime Minister and the Cabinet too has chosen to behave that the government still knows best about everything. 

It has been revealed that since the AES implementation in September, about 300,000 summonses have been issued.

Till today, only 14 AES cameras have been installed and the plan is to install a total of 831 cameras by next year.

What will be the total number of summonses issued in 1 month when 831 cameras are installed?

There is no doubt that a summon that costs RM 300 is nothing to any Cabinet Minister, but RM 300 is a big sum to many Malaysians.

So what is BN’s People First, Performance Now slogan? It rings hollow!

But the amount of summon and the number of cameras are not the only concerns of the AES system. There are many other issues like why should traffic enforcement be privatized, why should cameras be installed at places which are not accident high risk zones, whether the AES system can effectively reduce accidents etc.

But the Transport Minister remains arrogant and the Cabinet continues to ignore the public legitimate concerns over the AES.

Kong Cho Ha especially has been behaving like he and only he knows best about AES and how to prevent accidents.

Now the Attorney General has directed that all proceedings against individuals charged with AES be withheld for the time being due to concern over “the law and other technicalities” related to the system.

What the government should do now is to abolish the AES system and refund monies to those who have paid their summonses.

If Kong has any sense of honour, he should not only apologise to all who have been charged, he should voluntarily resign as a Minister.

In fact, if he is a man of principles, he ought to have resigned earlier when he either failed to persuade the Cabinet to adopt MCA‘s stand on the AES issue or he himself disagreed with his Party’s stand.

Last month, MCA President Datuk Seri Chua Soi Lek had called for a grace period of 3 months for public to learn about the AES. 

“Allow a grace period so people understand the implementation and give a warning instead of issuing fines,” he was reported to say so.

Kong cannot go on behaving that he still knows best about AES.

He must either resign voluntarily as the Transport Minister or be sacked.

If the Prime Minister is unwilling to exercise his prerogative to sack Kong Cho Ha, Chua Soi Lek who has the power of nominating MCA candidates for Ministership, should nominate a new MCA candidate to replace Kong as Kong has either gone against or failed to carry out MCA’s stand on AES.

Let’s see if Chua is serious about MCA’s stand.

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