KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 9 — Transport Minister Anthony Loke has insisted today that the Road Transport Department (JPJ) will no longer offer any discounts for its fines, not only during the Madani Government One-Year Anniversary this weekend but also in the future.
He said this was a policy he had already initiated back in 2018 when he was first appointed as the transport minister.
“Why did we do that? Firstly, if anyone remembers, it was me who cancelled more than four million AES (automated enforcement system) summons in 2018. At that time many people welcomed it, but I told you, it was just a one-off and not to be a precedent.
“If we collected the summons, they were worth over RM600 million in government revenue, but we wrote off all of them,” Loke told reporters after visiting the Transport Ministry’s booth at the celebration programme at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium here.
Loke was responding to the public’s complaints on why his ministry had done away with discounts on summons issued by JPJ.
“Secondly, we also want to convey a message to the public, that the summons are meant to educate, but if we give discounts, it is as if [traffic violations] was a matter up for negotiation.
“We also received feedback from the public, that if we gave discounts it would be unfair to those who paid at the stipulated time, or early. Regarding other agencies I can’t comment, because other agencies may have other considerations.
The police are offering a 50 per cent discount for those paying off fines during the celebration in Bukit Jalil.
“But JPJ is under the Transport Ministry, and the ministry has a portfolio and responsibilities for road safety, we need to give out a firm message,” he said, adding that there were people who were disappointed since the ministry was only giving out complementary helmets and lucky draw for flight ticket rather than offering discounts.
Loke added that his ministry did not decide on the matter alone, but discussed it with the director-general of JPJ and also the secretary-general to decide on a response to the discontent among the public.
“But it was a unanimous decision from JPJ was that we must be firm in this matter. Especially in this matter, why give in just because someone made a complaint, as from the beginning we stated in the Cabinet that this policy is very strict,” he said.
“A strong message needs to be given that violations on the road must be taken seriously. I know that it could be a burden on the public, but as the ministry responsible for road safety issues, I need to bear this responsibility and give clear messages.
“So, I’m sorry, no discount for JPJ summons. There was once last year, but I was not the minister at the time. I need to be consistent in this matter,” he said.
He said while there are people who may be unhappy with this decision or that he has no sympathy, the priority is road safety.
“Don’t wait [for discounts], if there is a summons [that people need to pay], I advise them to pay up, if they don’t, there may be other implications later, a warrant may be issued and so on. So, no need to wait,” he said.
According to Loke, there will be an additional 2,000 units of helmets to be distributed at Bukit Jalil tomorrow as the target of free helmets distributed surpassed the number that the ministry had planned to give out initially.