Women Suffrage and Beyond: Re-examine Women’s Issues and Related Policy

Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil resigned as Women, Family and Community Development Minister since the National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp) scandal broke out last year and due to the pressure wherein she had been hounded for the fact that the government-backed cattle project belongs to her family. In April 2012, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced that he would serve concurrently as Women Minister. Since then, Najib has been critized for non-performance; he has not only failed to reveal any road map or new policies for women to improve their social status and rights, but even marginalised women’s agenda. Nonetheless, speaking at the 50th National Women’s Day celebration, Najib dismissed the need for a women’s rights movement in Malaysia as equality has been given “from the start” and claimed that Malaysia is even more advanced than developed nations in this aspect.[1] Such statement has significantly highlighted the ignorance and contempt of the head of government towards women’s issues and rights, which further revealed the main reason behind his decision to assume his responsibility as the role of Women, Family and Community Development Minister rather than appointing other female senators to hold this important position – this ministry is merely optional for Najib’s administration.

 

 Gender Inequality in Malaysia

According to The Global Gender Gap Report 2012, Malaysia is found in the lower half of the rankings within the region, which is ranked 100 out of 135 countries. When The Global Gender Gap Index first introduced by the World Economic Forum in 2006, Malaysia ranked 72th. In other words, Malaysia is in nowhere more advanced than any other countries in terms of gender equality, but there is even a trend of increased gender-based disparities.

Table 1: The Global Gender Gap Report 2012

The Global Gender Gap Report 2012

The Overall Performance of the Asia-Pacific Region

Malaysia Singapore Philippines Thailand Indonesia China Japan
Overall 100 55 8 65 97 69 101
Economic participation and opportunity 98 13 17 49 104 58 102
Political empowerment 120 89 14 93 73 58 110
Health and survival 78 85 1 1 107 132 34
Educational attainment 72 104* 1 78 92 85 81

*Singapore failed to provide the enrollment data of both men and women in primary, secondary schools and universities, thus affected the ratings.

Source: World Economic Forum[2]

The graph above has demonstrated that Malaysia ranked the lowest in the political sphere, with a score of 0.0530 on the political empowerment subindex. Amongst the 222 members of parliament in Malaysia, there are only 18 women parliamentarians, which is a mere 8 percent. In order to achieve the targeted 30 percent of women involvement in political arena, women should at least occupy 66 parliamentary seats or above.

Amongst the 73 cabinet ministers appointed by the Prime Minister, there are only 8 women ministers (or deputy ministers), included Datuk Seri Sharizat before relinqushing her position, altogether occupied a 10.9 percent. On the other hand, the State Executive Council (EXCO) of Selangor headed by Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim has 14 EXCO members, wherein comprised 5 women members, accounting for 35.7 percent.  Why is there such a discrepancy between the number of women members appointed in both of the state excutive council and the cabinet?

Does this signify that a woman is inherently incapable to compete with a man? Undoubtedly, the answer is a no. Statistic shows higher enrollment rate for females than males in universities, ranged from 60 to 68 percent as compared to 32 to 40 percent of males, signifying that females tend to have better performance than males in academic works. However, there is a tremendous reversal when come to the employment rate, with only 46 percent of women employed in workplace.

Political Studies for Change (KPRU – Kajian Politik untuk Perubahan) found that Malaysia is on par wih many feudal states in terms of gender equality, revealing the fact that our society is yet to emancipate itself from rigid gender stereotypes. Crucially, the ruling government has never put emphasis on women’s agenda. In comparison with other issues such as national economy and development, women’s issues are most likely belittled as “housekeeping”, which should remain as family matters. This therefore causing women’s agenda continue to be overshadowed.

Women, the Care-giver

Traditionally, women have been playing the role of a care-giver or a mother. This role has always been highly exalted in our societies. One of the most famous traditional classical Chinese story is about Mencius’ mother, who is often held up as an exemplary female figure in Chinese culture as she moved house three times before settling down in a location that she felt was suitable for the child’s upbringing. Eventually, Mencius became a scholar. There are many stories about mothers departing on an adventurous journey to save their beloved children as well. All this histories and stories lump together conveying the selfless and unconditional love of a mother. When the Industrial Revolution came in the 1970s and 1980s, typical housekeepers and care-givers who had been integrally involved in domestic household chores had also began to  get involved in industrialization, contributing to the transformation of national economy.

Women occupy 48 percent of the total population in Malaysia. Nevertheless, only 46 percent of the women population get employed while the rest of them choose to stay at home. The 2010 Asia-Pacific Human Development Report has pointed out the conservative estimates which show that GDP would increase by up to 2-4 percent annually if women’s employment rates were raised to 70 percent in Malaysia, closer to the rate of many developed countries.[3] Unfortunately, the majority of married women, whether willingly or otherwise, have to lay aside their career development particularly after childbirth in order to bear the responsibility to nurture and take care of their children. Such circumstances are primarily due to the traditional concept of gender division of labor, lack of nursery in workplaces, as well as the parents has no  confidence in the quality of childcare services. Similarly, the lack of medicare, social services and benefits for elderly or disabled people have further burdened the women in the family (let it be spouse, daughter or daughter-in-law) with additional duties to look after them.

In view of this, KPRU has particularly studied and adopted some examples from foreign countries to propose several measures in hope of assisting women to once again getting involved in workplace, and more importantly to put pressure on the government so that they will pay attention to women’s agenda, plighting to improve women’s rights and benefits.

(1)   Maternity and Paternity Leave

Since the Pakatan Rakyat (PAKATAN) Selangor state government came to power in 2008, many of the family-oriented welfare policies had been implemented, such as 90-day maternity leave for the women, allowances for eligible single mothers, opening a RM100 start-up fund for every child born in Selangor, just to name a few. The implementation of 14-day paternity leave has indeed proven that PAKATAN Selangor state government is much concern and has a better understanding of the importance of a man being a husband and a father in a family. As comparison, BN which has ruled this nation for more than a half century has yet to grasp such essence. Through its 55-year reign, BN has been projecting the image of a valiant parent, asserting patriarchal value, and thus family matters and the topic of raising children would never be the focal point of its discussion. Najib assumed a high profile by claiming that there’s no need for women’s rights movement in Malaysia after taking over the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development, and that has precisely reflected the backwardness of the BN government and their ignorance towards the issues regarding women and family.

There is a rise in Malaysia’s total population. In Year 2010 alone, a total of 475,816 babies were born whilst the average of fertility rate was 2.2. Fertility is intrinsically mattered to a family. Men therefore should not be categorized as mere breadwinner or “chores bystander”, but should actively participate in every family matters, sharing household chores together with the wife, taking care of the pregnant or post-childbirth wife, creating parenting memories and experiencing the life hand in hand. Sadly, the reality in Malaysia is that husbands do not have extra leisure time to participate in family activities. The only effort done by the government is to offer 7 days off for civil servants as stated in the civil service manual, apart from encouraging the private sectors to grant their male workers with paternity leaves. There is however no legislation has been created yet to entitle men with parental leave and benefits.

Amongst the 139 countries, working women in 48 countries are entitled to a 14-week maternity leave or above, 24 countries offer up to 13-14 weeks, women from 39 countries are guaranteed leave for 12 weeks surrounding childbirth, while the maternity leave accessed in the remaining 28 countries is below 12 weeks.[4]

Table 2: Maternity, Paternity, and Parental Leaves[5] [6]

Country Paid maternity leave Paid paternity leave Parental leave for mothers Parental leave for fathers
Taiwan 8 weeks; 4 weeks for miscarriage after 3 months of pregnancy 3 days Applicable in an enterprise employed more than 30 people, for women who’ve complete 1 year service with employer, up till child’s 3rd birthday. Not exceeding 2 years.
Singapore 16 weeks (100%) 14 days (to be announced) N/A N/A
France 16 weeks (100%) rising to 26 weeks (100%) for third child 3 days + 11 consecutive days Share of 106 weeks (2 years) with father Share of 106 weeks (2 years) with mother
Germany 14 weeks (100%);12/14 months (14 only for single mothers; 65%, but not more than 1,800 euro/month) Can request up to 2 months Share of 156 weeks (3 years,  or up until child’s 3rd birthday) with father Share of 156 weeks (3 years,  or up until child’s 3rd birthday) with mother
United Kingdom 18 weeks;Additional maternity leave of 11 weeks for women who’ve complete 1 year service with employer. 2 weeks 13 weeks up to child’s 5th birthday18 weeks for disabled child up to child’s 18th birthday Can request up to 4 weeks (max 13 weeks) non-paid parental leave annually (if they have at least 1 year’s continuous employment )
Japan 14 weeks (60%) Can request up to 12 months 12 months up to child’s first birthday 12 months up to child’s first birthday
Korea 90 days (100%) 3 days N/A 12 months
Malaysia 8 weeks (100%) N/A N/A N/A

In France, for instance, all women workers are entitled to a paid, job-protected maternity leave six weeks before and 10 weeks after the births of the first two children, eight weeks before and 18 weeks after the birth of the third child, 34 weeks (12 prenatally) for twins and 46 weeks (24 prenatally) for triplets or more. Pre and postnatal maternity leave is mandatory. Additionally, at the end of maternity leave, the mother or father can take a 2-year unpaid parental leave or until the child reaches the age of three, with entitlement to re-integration into the previous or a similar job. Parents receive a parental leave allowance if they interrupt their employment, totally.

In Japan, a country purported to have the highest proportion of elderly citizens and is facing the plight of rapid aging, the government seeks to boost birth rate by promoting parental leave system, re-employment or re-integrating system, and to guarantee an reinstatement of those who applied for “parental leave without pay and job retention” according to 1991 Childcare Leave Act.

Meanwhile, private company like Google[7] has been able to retain the participation of women workers by lengthened maternity leave to five months from three and changed it from partial pay to full pay. Google’s move has so far contributed to a decreased postpartum attrition by 50 percent.  The United Nations Development Programme in its media release stated that the increase rate of 70 percent of female employees has the potential to increase the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Malaysia by 2 to 4 percent per year.[8]

In comparison with other countries, family care in our country is still being left behind. Moreover, corporate culture in Malaysia inclines to protecting the interests of employers rather than employees. In order not to burden the employers, all parental or family-related leaves are considered as personal leave; there’s no consensus reached amongst many different industries and fields on the definition of paternity leave, needless to say providing parental leave or other benefits for their male workers.

(2)   Daycare Centres/Nursery

Serdang MP Teo Nie Ching has recently been awarded with a newborn baby; the overwhelming joy of becoming a mother is however overhauled by the concern of the issue of breastfeeding after getting back to her workplace. Hence, she learnt from the Italian member of the European Parliament Licia Ronzulli – who brought her 44-day old daughter to work two years ago – by bringing her four-month old daughter Jinger Gan to Parliament, highlighting that both the public and private sector have neglected working mothers by not providing daycare facilities. Teo, accompanied by her colleague Nurul Izzah Anwar, MP of Lembah Pantai, are calling for both state and federal government to set a good example by setting up childcare centre fully equipped with a crèche, to accommodate nursing mothers.[9]

Since 1994, the government has been given tax incentives, as well as rebate for the cost setting up nurseries in workplace to encourage private enterprises setting up childcare centre. As the years passed by, there were only 71 and 20 creches provided by the government agencies and the private sector respectively.

According to the latest statistics of the National Development Council, there are 1322 registered nurseries, which are mainly privately operated, accounting for 91.2 percent; only 96 or 7.3 percent of nursery have been set up in workplace, while the remaining 1.4 percent is community nursery. Besides, there are roughly 7000 unregistered nurseries in Malaysia.[10] As the government tightens rules for foreign maids, many families could no longer afford to hire foreign maid, and thus the number of nursery is expected to reach a crescendo.

As a response to the parents, particularly to meet the demands of care-givers, Prime Minister Najib Razak announced in the 2013 Budget that the government is going to facilitate and expedite the registration of nurseries, to provide tax-free incentives and grants for setting up new nurseries, as well as tax exemption on allowances or subsidies for childcare. However, the announcement has yet to ripple and sparkle amongst mothers and employers.

The Executive Director of Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF), Shamsuddin Bardan pointed out that the core reason why tax-free incentives failed to attract enterprises to set up nurseries is because the cost for establishment and operation of nursery is truly not worth a red cent.[11]

By simplifying and expediting the registration procedures of nurseries and superficially believe that the setting up of nurseries can all at once resolve the issues revolving childcare and thus holding women back in the job market have totally deviated from the core issue. Nursery is not merely a place to settle down children, it is essentially an early childhood education centre; high quality childcare and education are parents’ greatest consideration. What is the ideal age for nursery? What are the qualifications and requirements to become a childcare giver? These are amongst the most concerning aspects. If these issues remained unresolved, no matter how much incentives offered by the government can hardly persuade the parents – who love their children so much and value them above anything else – to send their children to nursery.

Take France for instance, the government stipulated that only 3-month-old baby or above can be placed in either a crèche or in the home of a childcare-giver. Assistante maternelle (also known as nanny or childcare-giver) are strictly regulated by the state and must be certified, regularly inspected and attend classes. Since 2007, French government requires childcare-givers to go through six-month review and 60 hours of vocational training course before joining the childcare industry. Furthermore, after two years of professional internship, it is mandatory for all care-givers to go through another 60 hours of comprehensive and professional training. After a total of 120 hours of vocational training, childcare-giver can be then certified as a childcare practitioner and eligible to participate in government examination, and eventually get employed.

In additional, Japan imposes strict governmental regulation upon childcare-giver as well. Apart from having related certificate, it is necessary for the childcare-givers to pass a few examinations, which including psychology and practical classes, before becoming a qualified childcare-giver.  In comparison, childcare-givers in Malaysia only required to possess a minimum qualification of Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM). Generally, they would attend a 6-month training of early childhood curriculum organized by Social Welfare Department of Malaysia after joining this field for some period of time.  The lacks of professional evaluation system and proper training course have in fact left question mark over the quality of childcare-givers. Issues of child abuse and death of infants in nurseries due to malpractices have been on the rise for the past few years and such trend is indeed alarming. Supposedly, establishment of nurseries should go hand in hand with the supervision of the quality of childcare-givers or teachers in nurseries.  As a parent, there is nothing comparable to give their small ones the best care. The act of Serdang MP Teo Nie Ching bringing her 4-month-old baby to Parliament has precisely highlighted the plight and the struggle of working mothers in Malaysia.

In 2008, 28 percent of companies in the United States allow parents to bring their babies to the office. Some companies even provide private office specially catered for these parents. The company policies stated that baby less than 9-month-old can be brought to office as the baby at this age is able to crawl and move on their own. In fact, care centre has also been established by the U.S. government to bring advantages for the government officials. There are about 110 child-care centres and about 8,000 government officials benefited from this program.[12]

KPRU believes that Malaysia is a society that adheres to collectivism and attaches utmost importance to family values.  Hence, government should not disregard the role of family and its related issues, but to establish a safety net to protect the rights and benefits of women in terms of childbirth, employment or reinstatement after childbirth. Moreover, men should also be entitled to paternity leave, thereby promoting division of family labour by not letting wives perform the household chores and childcare activities alone. All in all, Malaysian government should never ever be complacent and proclaim that the government has already provided an equal space for women and thus no women’s agenda is needed.

(3)   Community Daycare Centre for the Senior Citizen

Children or baby are not the only member to be taken care of in a family, nor are they the only impediment to women career advancement. Apart from children who have limited capacity to act independently without the assistance of adults, Alzheimer’s sufferers and family members with disability are, too, likely to become the factors that force women to stay at home. In fact, taking care of the elderly can take a serious toll on family life and disturb the routine of the entire household.

Data collected in 2011 shows that Malaysia has 2.1 million elderly people, occupy a 7.3 percent of the overall population, and is expected to increase to 3.2 million in 2020.[13] As mentioned earlier, Malaysian society put great emphasis on family values; sending the elderly people to old folks home or adult daycare centres might not be widely accepted as compared to western society. Filial piety is constantly advocated as one of the humanistic ethics and noble values within society that should be adhered to. Therefore, in addition to the establishment and development of childcare centres or related policies, government should take the initiative to approach private sectors by providing incentives for them, to encourage them setting up well-equipped and affordable community daycare centres for elderly people. Such approaches can at least take a burden off the women’s shoulder, and thus allowing them to return to the workforce and contribute to the growth of women’s labor force participation rate.

Daycare centres for senior citizen have been commonly implemented in many progressive and developed countries. On one hand, it provides a platform for the families who have no time to take care of the elderly people during the day, while on the other hand encouraging interaction between old people within the community and promoting wellbeing through social and health related services.

There are three types of daycare centre for the elderly citizens in Hong Kong, which are under the regulation of Social Welfare Department: full-time daycare service, part-time daycare service and lastly, respite service. The services provided consist of medical advices, health talks, shuttle services, social and recreational activities and so forth.[14] Family members can send the senior citizens to daycare centre in the morning and pick them up after work at night. While keeping them occupied with social activities during the day with assistance and cares from daycare centres, elderly people can go back to their family and maintain close ties with their children and grandchildren. Furthermore, respite service provides accommodation and cares for the elderly people, in case their family members need to take a few days leave for business trip and cannot take care of them personally.

Taiwan implements a very similar daycare service system to Hong Kong. The services and facilities are designed to provide convenience for community residents during the day, there is also respite care offered to the elderly people. To be precise, daycare centres can be further subdivided into three types by differentiating the provision of services:

–          Social type: Social daycare centres feature various activity programs, including social, recreational and educational activities, alongside with providing catering, dietary management services and others.

–          Medical type: Medical daycare centres focus on providing personal and medical care, as well as physical and occupational therapy services.

–          Mixed: This kind of daycare centres provide all the general services listed above.

Most of the daycare centres for elderly in Taiwan are social-based; the service hours varied from the characteristic of each operating centre and also based on the needs and demands of elderly people. Generally, some operates during the normal working hours while some only open for a specific period. In addition, some daycare centres would hire volunteers to visit the senior citizens in the community or giving them a call to show care and concern for them.

On the contrary, Malaysian government shows little effort in putting forward comprehensive policy regarding elderly care. The so-called “policy for the elderly” to benefit senior citizens, which particularly been highlighted in Budget 2012 and 2013, are again, discounts – discount for the processing fee of passport, waiving public transportation fees for elderly citizens and no registration fees charged in public hospitals and clinic. By rights, elderly care should not be a financial burden; affordable and high quality elderly care should be easily accessible within the community. Unfortunately, privately operated daycare centres for the elderly people in our country are often too expensive to bring forward convenience and benefits for middle-income or lower-middle income families.

(4)   Promoting Working from Home

The emergence of internet and technological advancement has brought forward tremendous change to the traditional work pattern. The revealing of new working pattern – working from home, which also known as homeworking, telecommuting or teleworking – is believed to be more conducive in encouraging more women re-entering the workforce, at the same time reducing the conflict between work and family.

Malaysia is not a crowded place compared to other Asia countries like Japan or Singapore. Nonetheless, metropolitan area in Malaysia, particularly, has the country’s highest rate of congestion. The heavy traffic and congested roads, which largely due to the policy failures, has definitely intertwined with one’s routine, inseparably. Such circumstance presents more than a headache for commuters; it is truly a waste of time, killing off one’s family times.  Homeworking, by contrast, can reduce commuting time; consequently saving energy, reducing air pollution and promoting other environmental benefits, increasing productivity and efficiency – on the whole, improving quality of life.  Essentially, working parents can have longer time to spend with their family.

In April 2003, the United Kingdom’s Employment Act introduced the right for parents of young and disabled children to apply to work flexibly. And in April 2007, this right was extended to cover carers of adults. This provision has then created an environment for homeworking, whereby employees can spend a proportion of their working week working from home.[15] According to the survey of the British labor force, there are about 2.2 million of employees have adopted the model of homeworking at least once a week at the moment, accounting for 7.4 percent of the total labor force, in which private enterprises occupy the majority 74 percent while the government agencies account for 26 percent. Such working flexibility appears to be a rising trend as new form of employment.

There are certain conditions to be met if an employee is request for flexible working under the statutory provision in UK. The applicant must be an employee with a contract of employment, have a child under seventeen or a disabled child under 18, have worked for their employer for 26 weeks continuously at the date that the application is made. Germany, on the other hand, is more lenient at the request for flexible working:

–          Besides working from home, the applicant is required to go to workplace at a fixed time to keep in touch with their department or colleagues.

–          The applicant must have worked for the employer for more than 1 year, served for their position for more than six months, worked 19 hours or above a week, able to work independently and reliable. When the above requirements are met, employers may take into account of their needs and caring responsibilities.

Ministry of Human Resources in Malaysia has introduced and established “work-at-home” program in 2008 to assist single mothers, physically-challenged people, housewives and poor families to earn extra income from home, basically through incorporating small domestic enterprise such as manufacturing handicrafts and others. Nevertheless, this is inherently different from the UK or Germany’s flexible working model as the latter are fully employed, in which benefits and protection have been guaranteed to them, whilst the former is self-employed without fixed income and employee welfares.[16]

In 2010, the Ministry of Public Works has carried out its pioneer program to allow some of its 39 staffs working under three categories in the ministry – draughtsmen, technicians and assistant quantity surveyors – to work from home for three months. Under this program, staffs only required to go to their workplace once a week. “This program is found to be a success as it has helped to increase productivity rate by up to 85%,” quoted Minister Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor.[17]  In addition, 36 high-performance internal officials from Attorney General’s Chambers have been selected to participate in the program of homeworking as well.[18] Despite of the positive responses from some government departments, Malaysian federal government shows little willingness and determination in pushing forward this initiative into another stage.

Studies and analysis have found that the advantages of homeworking outweigh its drawbacks. Flexible working is not only a vital element to allowing women to manage both their work and caring responsibilities effectively, it also helps to encourage men to participate in family care, all together providing disabled people a friendly working environment. When the labor force participation rate is increased, a country’s productivity might be growing as well.

However, it should be noted that not all types of works are suitable to be carried out at home. The work within the general scope of writing, researching, data processing and analysis, which do not require heavy equipment or complicated system upon completion, can be carried out at home. Whereas, the works which required face-to-face contact with customers, or involving complicated equipments, confidential and sensitive data, just to name a few, are of course not suitable to bring back to one’s home.

In order to make an equal employment available, Malaysia government should first amend the related policy and legislation, and set this as the primary goal. After all, a mere 46 percent of women workforce can hardly make Malaysia’s vision of becoming a high-income country in the next eight years to come to a realization. How to prompt selfless mothers to return to workforce in order to spur transformation of national economy has become the most critical task of the new government.

Conclusion

Time has changed but the evolution of human civilization has yet to dismiss the role of women being a care-giver and mother, although women are allowed to seek for self-achievement and to excel in their respective career. Worse still, bias-based policy has not yet to be alleviated and very often causing women to give up on the options available outside of family. In KPRU’s view, if Malaysian government intended to liberate the other half of the potential labor force of this nation and to advocate women’s employment, thereby enabling our country to take its path towards high-income country, government should really put great emphasis and pay serious attention to the development and implementation of policy that benefits women, such as providing parental leaves, including maternity and paternity leave, supervising and regulating nursery, promoting homeworking and so forth.

Family is the basis of the society. Government should thus stressing on the cruciality and placing importance on resolving family-related matters by establishing a social safety net to support care-givers and women, acting as an auxiliary to empower them. Furthermore, traditional concept of women should be altered, together with the disposal of stereotypical and bias-based policy, and developing policy that is conducive for women’s employment.

KPRU suggests that the government should put aside if not annihilate gender stereotypes when come to formulating policies. The most direct and quickest way to show its sincerity and determination in giving voice to women is by strictly enforcing measures to increase women’s participation in national-level parliaments to the targeted 30 percent, let it be women MPs or women ministers. Let their voice be heard in the parliament, in a democractic government’s legislature. Last but not least, respect for individual choice. Provide them the space to pursue their dream freely, and altogether enabling men who choose to stay at home taking care of their family can be free from any form of discrimination, thereby enjoying their role of being a care-giver.


[5] ttp://nccur.lib.nccu.edu.tw/bitstream/140.119/35670/12/25603412.pdf

[7] Life Inc, Google’s Formula To Retain Women: Longer Maternity Leave, 24 Ogos 2012, http://lifeinc.today.com/_news/2012/08/24/13439661-googles-formula-to-retain-women-longer-maternity-leave#comments

[8] UNDP, Raising Women’s Employment Rates To 70% Could Increase Malaysia’s GDP By 2-4 % Annually: UNDP, 15 April 2010,

http://www.undp.org.my/uploads/undp%20press%20release%20-%20gender%20report%20-%2015%20april%202010.pdf

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Kajian AES Merentasi Negara

Pengenalan

Salah satu elemen utama tadbir urus negara moden yang membentuk legitimasi sebuah rejim pemerintah ialah keterbukaan dari segi proses konsultasi atau rundingan berkenaan dengan penggubalan sesuatu dasar. Apabila sebuah sistem yang melibatkan kesejahteraan/kepentingan rakyat terbanyak seperti Sistem Penguatkuasaan Automatik (AES) dilaksanakan oleh kerajaan pusat dan dilakukan tanpa persetujuan kerajaan negeri/tempatan atau rundingan terbuka bersama rakyat, seperti yang dapat dilihat di negara-negara seperti Amerika Syarikat, pelaksanaan sistem tersebut akan dibantah secara terbuka. Hal ini kerana pelaksanaan yang dilakukan secara tertutup, sepertimana yang berlaku di Malaysia, memberi isyarat bahawa pelaksanaan dasar tersebut tidak dilakukan dengan meletakkan kepentingan rakyat mendahului kepentingan kapitalisme/kronisme.

Seharusnya, dalam pelaksanaan mana-mana dasar penting, mengambil contoh negara Sweden, perancangan dan pelaksanaan sistem AES melibatkan proses konsultasi di mana rakyat diminta untuk mengambil bahagian untuk menjadikan pelaksanaan sistem AES tersebut lebih efektif. Sedangkan di Malaysia, hampir keseluruhan proses dilakukan secara tertutup, fakta-fakta berkaitan sistem AES hanya diketahui selepas kontrak pelaksanaan tersebut ditandatangani.

Pelaksanaan AES telah membangkitkan bantahan daripada pelbagai pihak. Dalam usaha mengkaji bantahan-bantahan terhadap AES, Kajian Politik untuk Perubahan (KPRU) mendapati corak am yang agak sama dengan perkembangan unik masing-masing di beberapa buah negara yang juga melaksanakan sistem berkenaan. Justeru, KPRU merumuskan dua perkara utama untuk penelitian kita bersama apabila membicarakan isu pelaksanaan sistem AES seperti berikut:

1.      Selain Malaysia, pelaksanaan sistem AES juga mendapat bantahan di negara-negara lain yang melaksanakannya. Hal ini kerana pelaksanaan sistem AES dilihat sebagai percubaan mengumpul hasil/meraih keuntungan oleh kerajaan dan syarikat swasta yang membekalkan/menguruskan kamera-kamera AES, pada masa yang sama membebankan rakyat dengan saman trafik.

2.      Pelaksanaan sistem AES di negara lain bukanlah cara utama kerajaan meningkatkan keselamatan jalan raya. Sebaliknya, ianya bersifat komplimentari, pembangunan bersama sistem pengangkutan awam yang sistematik, cekap, berkesan dan menyeluruh.

Penemuan Pertama

Selain Malaysia, pelaksanaan sistem AES juga mendapat bantahan di negara-negara yang melaksanakannya. Hal ini kerana pelaksanaan sistem AES ini dilihat sebagai percubaan mengumpul hasil/meraih keuntungan oleh kerajaan dan syarikat swasta yang membekalkan/menguruskan kamera-kamera AES, pada masa yang sama membebankan rakyat dengan saman trafik.

Amerika Syarikat

Kumpulan anti kamera kelajuan Camerafraud telah memperlihatkan peningkatan dalam sokongan daripada 100 orang ahli kepada 1500 orang ahli dalam tahun 2008. Pada Julai 2010, Kumpulan tersebut telah mengumpul tandatangan sebanyak 150,000 bagi menolak pelaksanaan kamera kelajuan.[1]

Penolakan penggunaan kamera kelajuan ini memperlihatkan sebanyak 13 negeri[2] di Amerika Syarikat mempunyai undang-undang khas untuk menolak penggunaan kamera kelajuan di lebuh raya-lebuh raya. Bagi negeri-negeri yang memasang kamera kelajuan, warga negeri tersebut mengambil langkah untuk menyusahkan kamera-kamera kelajuan mengambil gambat plat kereta mereka. Contoh tindakan yang diambil boleh dilihat di Maryland di mana kamera lampu merah mula dipasang pada tahun 1997 dan kamera kelajuan pada tahun 2007[3]. Para pengguna jalan raya di negeri tersebut mula menggunakan teknik NoPhoto di mana plat kereta menggunakan dua benda yang kecil yang memantul cahaya di hujung plat kereta. Dua benda ini akan memutarbelitkan gambar yang diambil oleh kamera.

Penggunaan kamera kelajuan untuk meraih keuntungan ini dapat dilihat di Washington DC apabila bandar tersebut membelanjakan sebanyak USD$52.7 juta kepada ACS State & Local Solutions untuk memasang, mengendali dan menyelenggara jaringan kamera trafik di bandar tersebut. Pelaksanaan kamera trafik di bandar tersebut pula menghasilkan sebanyak USD$85 juta dalam saman trafik pada tahun 2011.  Nilai saman trafik bagi para pemandu yang membawa kenderaan mereka dengan kadar 25 mph (40.2 km/j) melebihi had kelajuan dinaikkan kepada USD$300 daripada USD$250. Had kelajuan bagi jalan raya di kawasan luar bandar ialah 50 mph dan 60 mph di lebuh raya.[4] [5] Ini adalah berikutan sebuah laporan akhbar pada bulan Mac 2012 melaporkan bahawa bandar tersebut menghadapi USD$172 juta dalam defisit dan sebuah rancangan untuk menambah hasil (revenue) bandar tersebut adalah dengan menambah pungutan hasil ekoran program kamera trafik sebanyak USD$31 juta pada tahun 2012 dan USD$40 juta pada tahun 2013.[6]

Negeri California pula menaikkan kadar saman trafiknya kepada USD$271 di mana Lockhead Martin (syarikat pembekal kamera trafik di negeri California) akan meraih keuntungan sebanyak USD$70 bagi setiap USD$271 saman yang dikeluarkan.[7]

Bandar lain di Amerika Syarikat tidak terkecuali dengan projek meraih keuntungan melalui kamera AES. Di bandar Chicago, Datuk Bandar Rahm Emanual bergantung kepada keuntungan daripada sisem AES yang bernilai USD$30 juta dalam saman trafik untuk membiayai projek keselamatan kanak-kanak bandar tersebut. Kadar saman trafik di bandar Chicago adalah seperti yang berikut: USD$35 bagi kesalahan memandu antara 6 mph – 10mph (9.6 km/j – 16 km/j) melebihi had kelajuan di kawasan persekolahan, dan USD$100 bagi kesalahan memandu dengan kadar 11 mph (17 km/j) melebihi had kelajuan .[8] Had kelajuan bagi jalan raya adalah masing-masing 65 mph (104 km/j) bagi lebuh raya di kawasan bandar, 55 mph (88 km/j) bagi lebuh raya di kawasan luar bandar, 30 mph (48 km/j) di kawasan perumahan dan 20 mph (32 km/j) di kawasan persekolahan.[9]

Kanada

Kamera kelajuan di negara Kanada mula dipasang pada tahun 1988 di British Columbia. Pada ketika itu, 75 peratus warga Kanada menunjukkan maklum balas positif terhadap pemasangan kamera kelajuan. Namun, maklum balas itu berbeza pada tahun 2001 apabila 32 peratus daripada 2,114 respondan yang mengambil bahagian dalam satu kajian menolak pemasangan kamera kelajuan di lebuh raya. Corak am penolakan pemasangan kamera kelajuan di Kanada berbeza-berbeza.[10]

Sepertimana di Amerika Syarikat, pemasangan kamera trafik di Kanada, contohnya di bandar Calgary, di mana nilai saman trafik bagi mereka yang ditangkap oleh kamera lampu merah adalah sebanyak CAD$287 dan nilai saman trafik bagi mereka yang membawa kenderaan melebihi had kelajuan adalah sebanyak CAD$136. Selain itu, jumlah saman trafik yang dikeluarkan oleh lima simpang utama bandar tersebut adalah sebanyak 73,839 bagi tahun 2011.[11] Di bandar Calgary, Kanada, pihak berkaitan meraih keuntungan sebanyak CAD$10,042,104 pada tahun 2011 bagi kesalahan kelajuan semata-mata.

Malah majlis perbandaran Winnipeg telah mengakui bahawa program AES adalah bertujuan untuk meraih keuntungan dan bukannya untuk meningkatkan keselamatan jalan raya. Ini adalah berikutan laporan dalaman[12] yang dikeluarkan oleh majlis perbandaran tersebut yang menyatakan bahawa “the report going to the protection committee confirmed for the first time publicly that city bureaucrats are recommending the continuation of photo enforcement largely for revenue reasons and not for traffic safety purposes.”

Persoalannya adalah sama ada Kerajaan Malaysia, terutamanya Kementerian Pengangkutan juga mempunyai pemikiran yang sama seperti majlis perbandaran Winnipeg, Kanada dalam pelaksanaan kamera AES?

United Kingdom

Sudah 20 tahun kamera kelajuan dipasang di United Kingdom di mana kamera pertama yang dipasang ialah di Jambatan Twickenham di daerah Surrey. Kegagalan penggunaan kamera kelajuan bermula apabila pihak berkaitan mula diberikan kebenaran untuk menerima peratusan tertentu daripada hasil yang dijana oleh kamera kelajuan. Ini membawa kepada bilangan kamera kelajuan meningkat daripada 1,600 buah kamera pada tahun 2000 kepada 4,737 buah kamera pada tahun 2007 tetapi keberkesanannya dipertikaikan.

Contohnya kamera kelajuan yang dipasang di Jalan Stoney, di daerah West Midlands, di barat tengah England[13]. Kamera tersebut diberi gelaran “kamera trafik paling licik”. Ini berikutan kamera tersebut dipasang hitam dan ianya tersorok dalam sebuah pokok. Ianya berjaya menangkap 1,500 pelanggar undang-undang jalan raya dalam seminggu ianya mula dipasang dan membawa keuntungan kepada kerajaan tempatan sebanyak £45,000 hingga £90,000 seminggu (RM218,970-RM437,966), lantas menjadikannya ia contoh kamera trafik yang tidak digunakan untuk mengurangkan kadar kemalangan dan menaikkan keselamatan jalan, sebaliknya sebagai mesin keuntungan pihak berkaitan.

Keberkesanan kamera kelajuan terus dinafikan setelah pihak polis di daerah Avon dan Somerset menyatakan kamera kelajuan gagal untuk membawa sebarang perbezaan atau pengurangan dalam kemalangan jalan raya. Ini berikutan selepas penggunaan kamera kelajuan mula diakhirkan pada Mac 2011, kadar kemalangan jalan raya sebenarnya menunjukkan pengurangan di mana pada tahun 2010, kemalangan jalan raya di Avon adalah sebanyak 312 kemalangan dan angka ini mengurang kepada 258 kemalangan pada tahun 2011. Jalan raya di Somerset juga memperlihatkan pengurangan pasca penutupan penggunaan kamera kelajuan di mana kemalangan jalan raya pada tahun 2010 adalah sebanyak 238, angka ini menurun kepada 224 pada tahun 2011.[14]

Dalam sebuah kajian yang dilakukan di UK, papan tanda yang menyatakan kelajuan seorang pemandu dikatakan 50 kali lagi efektif berbanding kamera kelajuan dalam usaha mengurangkan kelajuan di jalan raya.[15] Semakin banyak daerah di UK yang menutup program kamera kelajuan mereka. pada tahun 2010, 5 daerah di UK, Swindon, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Buckingham dan Lanashire menutup program kamera kelajuan mereka.[16]

Malah sehingga Jun 2012, 1522 kamera kelajuan di UK tidak lagi berfungsi atau digunakan. Ini merupakan peningkatan sebanyak 37 peratus pada tahun 2010 dan 32 peratus pada tahun 2009. Kamera-kamera yang tidak lagi digunakan untuk menangkap para pengguna jalan raya dibiarkan di tempat seadanya sebagai kaedah pencegahan.[17]

Perancis

Akibat kekecewaan terhadap kuota penguatkuasaan kelajuan, sekumpulan pegawai polis telah mengambil tindakan untuk menutup kamera-kamera kelajuan di laluan mereka.  Ini adalah kerana, menurut kumpulan pegawai polis tersebut, mereka dipaksa mengisi kuota pengeluaran saman untuk menerima bonus dan menurut kumpulan ini, polisi keselamatan jalan raya di Perancis telah fokus kepada keuntungan dan bukannya memperbaiki keselamatan jalan raya pengguna di negara tersebut.[18]

Pada tahun 2011[19], ribuan pemandu kereta dan motosikal telah melancarkan beberapa siri demonstrasi untuk menentang langkah-langkah keselamatan jalan raya yang baru dan penggunaan meningkat kamera-kamera kelajuan.

Pada tahun 2008[20], pihak polis telah menahan dua orang warga Perancis atas dakwaan meletup dan memusnahkan beberapa puluhan kamera kelajuan di sekitar bandar Paris menggunakan dinamit. Kedua-dua warga tersebut mendakwa mereka merupakan ahli kumpulan Nationalist Revolutionary Army Faction (Finar), iaitu kumpulan yang bertanggungjawab untuk kemusnahan berpuluh-puluh kamera kelajuan. Dan sehingga tahun 2003, sebanyak 1,860 kamera kelajuan di seluruh negara Perancis telah dimusnahkan oleh golongan anti kamera kelajuan.

Penentangan ke atas kamera kelajuan melihat penyambungan di tahun 2012 di mana dua kamera kelajuan telah disembur cat dan dibakar, lantas, merosakkan kedua-dua kamera kelajuan tersebut.[21]

Pelaksanaan sistem AES di Perancis telah memperlihatkan pihak kerajaan Perancis meraih keuntungan sebanyak €639 juta dalam pengeluaran saman trafik bagi kesalahan trafik pada tahun 2011. Manakala dari 1 Januari 2012 hingga 30 Jun 2012, kamera kelajuan telah mengutip sebanyak €324 juta dalam saman[22] dan nilai sebuah saman trafik bagi memandu melebihi had kelajuan di Perancis adalah sebanyak €135.[23]  Manakala semenjak program AES dilancarkan pada tahun 2003 sehingga tahun 2012, kerajaan Perancis telah meraih keuntungan kira-kira €700 juta daripada saman trafik.[24]

Australia

Bagi negara Australia, pelaksanaan sistem AES adalah mengikut peruntukan negeri dan bukannya kerajaan persekutuan. Dan keadaan ini dapat dilihat dengan kerajaan negeri mengaut keuntungan bernilai berjuta-juta akibat pelaksanaan sistem AES ini. Negeri Victoria misalnya, pada tahun 2008 sehingga 2009,  kerajaan negeri mengaut keuntungan sebanyak AUD$397 juta dalam pengeluaran seman bagi kesalahan trafik. Angka ini melonjak kepada AUD$437 juta pada tahun 2009/2010.[25]

Kerajaan negeri Queensland juga menjangka untuk meningkatkan hasil kutipan daripada saman trafik kepada AUD$81 juta pada tahun 2013 berbanding AUD$53 juta pada tahun 2012. Jangkaan bagi peningkatan hasil ini adalah berikutan kerajaan negeri terpaksa membelanjakan sebanyak AUD$50 juta untuk mengendalikan kamera-kamera kelajuan.[26]

Manakala di New South Wales (NSW) pula, kerajaan negeri tersebut meraih keuntungan sebanyak AUD$23,100,291 di sepuluh jalan raya yang mempunyai kamera kelajuan yang paling banyak merakam kesalahan memandu melebihi had kelajuan yang paling tinggi. Malah jalan Clevelenad St Surry Hills, sebuah jalan yang hanya mempunyai 3 kamera kelajuan berjaya mengutip keuntungan pada purata AUD$1,199,146 bagi setiap kamera.[27]

Penolakan penggunaan kamera kelajuan bagi meraih keuntungan akhirnya ditolak oleh kerajaan negeri tersebut. Ini berikutan kerajaan negeri NSW menutup 38 buah kamera daripada 141 kamera kelajuan selepas ianya didapati kamera-kamera tersebut gagal untuk mengurangkan kadar kemalangan jalan raya. Sebanyak AUD$10 juta telah diraih oleh 38 kamera tersebu sewaktu digunakan. Lantas, di sebalik menyelamatkan nyawa para pengguna jalan raya di NSW, kerajaan negeri tersebut telah mengakui kegagalan dan mengakui bebanan kewangan 38 buah kamera tersebut ke atas warga NSW dengan menutupi 38 buah kamera kelajuan di negeri tersebut.[28]

Penemuan Kedua

Pelaksanaan sistem AES di negara lain bukanlah cara utama kerajaan meningkatkan keselamatan jalan raya. Sebaliknya, ianya bersifat komplementari, pembangunan bersama sistem pengangkutan awam yang sistematik, cekap, berkesan dan menyeluruh.

Amerika Syarikat

Pada tahun 2011[29], Presiden Amerika Syarikat Barack Obama telah memperuntukkan sebanyak USD$8 bilion bagi pembinaan rel berkelajuan. Projek ini bukan sahaja dijangka membuka peluang pekerjaan di negera tersebut, ianya juga dijangka meningkatkan keberkesanan pengangkutan awam di Amerika Syarikat. Pada tahun 2009, terdapat sebanyak 7,700 jenis sistem pengangkutan awam di negara tersebut. Pada tahun 2011[30], warga Amerika Syarikat mengambil 10.2 bilion perjalanan menggunakan pengangkutan awam.

Bagi Belanjawan tahun 2013 negara tersebut pula[31], Presiden Barack Obama memperuntukkan sebanyak USD$476 bilion selama enam tahun kepada Kementerian Pengangkutan yang melibatkan peningkatan lebuhraya-lebuhraya, jaringan transit dan perkembangan perkhidmatan kereta api. Keberkesanan sistem pengangkutan awam Amerika Syarikat terbukti dengan jelas apabila individu-individu yang menggunakan sistem pengangkutan dikatakan dapat menjimatkan sebanyak USD$10,116 (RM30,550.32)  setahun dan penjimatan sebanyak USD$843 (RM2,545.86) sebulan.[32]

Kepentingan pengangkutan awam di Amerika Syarikat lebih jelas apabila di bandar New York, sebanyak 56.7 peratus warga New York membawa kereta, 31.1 peratus menggunakan pengangkutan awam, 1.5 peratus menggunakan teksi, 3.9 peratus menggunakan motosikal, 6.3 peratus jalan kaki dan 0.5 peratus menggunakan basikal untuk bergerak.[33]  Namun, bagi negeri seperti negeri California, penggunaan kenderaan persendirian masih diutamakan apabila sebanyak 71.4 peratus kenderaan yang dicatat adalah kereta/lori dan van. Ini berbanding dengan hanya 14.6 peratus warga negeri California menggunakan pengangkutan awam, 4.3 peratus warga California jalan kaki, 1.9 peratus menggunakan basikal dan  1.5 peratus lagi menggunakan teksi, motosikal dan sebagainya.[34]

Bagi laluan kereta api di Amerika Syarikat pula, ianya merupakan suatu jaringan yang menyentuh setiap 50 negeri dengan rancangan kerajaan Amerika Syarikat di bawah Presiden Barack Obama untuk membina 17,703 kilometer rangkaian jaringan kereta api berkelajuan tinggi yang akan disiap pada tahun 2030[35]. Kereta api berkelajuan tinggi ini akan menghubungkait bersama kereta api kelajuan biasa lantas menjadikan jaringan kereta api di Amerika Syarikat antara paling menyeluruh di dunia.

Kanada

Sejak tahun 2006, kerajaan Kanada memperuntukkan sebanyak $5 bilion kepada kerajaan tempatan untuk memajukan jaringan pengangkutan awam mereka. Malah dari tahun 2009 hingga tahun 2011, di bawah Pelan Tindakan Ekonomi Kanada, kerajaan Kanada melaburkan sebanyak $240 juta untuk pembangunan 70 jenis projek transit pengangkutan awam. Seterusnya, di bawah Tabung Pembinaan Kanada (BCF), sebanyak $8.8 bilion telah disalurkan bagi pembangunan jaringan pengangkutan awam di seluruh negara Kanada. Dan di bawah kerjasama BCF dan Major Infrastruktur Component (MIC), sebanyak $2.3 bilion daripada peruntukan kerajaan pusat telah disalurkan kepada 22 jenis projek pembinaan infrastruktur di seluruh negara Kanada.[36]

United Kingdom

Penggunaan jaringan kereta api UK memperlihatkan penggunaan meningkat saban tahun. Tahun 2010/2011 memperlihatkan kadar penggunaan yang paling tinggi dengan lebih daripada 50 bilion perjalanan oleh para pengguna telah direkod. Fakta ini menunjukkan kebergantungan warga UK yang tinggi ke atas pengangkutan awam yang efektif.

 

Jarak Perjalanan kilometer (bilion) Para Pengguna di Pengangkutan Awam Kereta Api UK tahun 2000-2011[37]

AES

 

Belanda

Di Belanda, warga negara tersebut digalakkan oleh kerajaannya untuk menggunakan baskal untuk perjalanan mereka. Meskipun warga Belanda terdiri daripada 17 juta orang, tetapi 18 juta penggunaan basikal sehari telah direkod oleh kerajaan Belanda.[38] Di samping itu, di bandar Amsterdam, terdapat 30 buah laluan bas, 16 buah laluan trem, 5 buah laluan feri dan 4 buah laluan bas metro. Malah, bas waktu malam di bandar Amsterdam adalah daripada pukul 12.30 malam sehingga 7.30 pagi[39]. Meletakkan kereta di bandar-bandar dalam negara Belanda pula terdiri daripada tiga jenis; Zon Biru (tiket masa yang bercop), P-Zon (tempat letak bermeter) dan P+R lokaliti (tempat letak kereta di luar bandar dengan pengangkutan awam kerap).[40]

Kesemua perkhidmatan pengangkutan awam di negara Belanda menggunakan kad OV-Chip. Ianya menggunakan pengisian kredit untuk digunakan di seluruh negara. Cara penggunaan kad ini adalah apabila ianya digunakan sejumlah kredit akan ditolak. Apabila seseorang itu keluar, sejumlah itu dimasukkan semula ke dalam kad tersebut.

Pembantu golongan kurang upaya pula mempunyai hak untuk menaiki pengangkutan awam secara percuma jika mereka mempunyai Pas Khas Bantuan Pengangkutan Awam (OV Begeleiderskaart). Bagi golongan kurang upaya yang tiada pembantu khas,, Pejabat Bantuan Kurang Upaya (NS) boleh dihubungi untuk membantu golongan kurang upaya ini. Terdapat 100 stesen di seluruh Belanda yang mempunyai Pembantu Perjalanan untuk golongan kurang upaya. Sesetengah stesen kereta api mempunyai jambatan mudah alih mereka yang menggunakan kerusi kurang upaya, panduan untuk mereka yang buta dan soket khas untuk alat pendengaran mereka yang pekak di kaunter menjual tiket. Bagi golongan kurang upaya yang hendak menaiki teksi, terdapat teksi khas yang mempunyai perjalanan jauh. Perkhidmatan teksi tersebut dinamakan Valys.[41]

Secara dasarnya, Belanda bukan sahaja mempunyai jaringan pengangkutan awam yang menyeluruh, ianya juga mesra golongan kurang upaya dan mengutamakan penggunaan basikal bagi setiap rakyatnya untuk bergerak.

Sweden

Di Sweden, terdapat tiga jenis pengangkutan awam yang disediakan oleh kerajaan negara Sweden. Pertama ialah pengangkutan awam am yang berasaskan jadual dan laluan kepada semua pihak; pengangkutan awam khas yang disediakan kepada kumpulan khas seperti orang kurang upaya dan para pelajar; ketiga ialah pengangkutan awam yang disewa khas dan pengangkutan awam untuk para pelancong.[42]

Di negara Sweden, pengangkutan awam ditadbir oleh kerajaan-kerajaan tempatan. Ini memberi kebebasan kepada kerajaan tempatan untuk memilih laluan dan jumlah keuntungan yang disasarkan. Akan tetapi. Kerajaan pusat mempunyai tanggungjawab untuk memastikan perkhidmatan di bawah kerajaan tempatan adalah berkualiti dan terdapat kerjasama di antara kerajaan pusat dan kerajaan tempatan untuk memastikan perkhidmatan seluruh negara adalah selari. Kerajaan pusat juga menyediakan geran untuk penyelidikan dan pembangunan di sektor perkhidmatan awam. Akan tetapi, tiada geran disediakan bagi perkhidmatan tempatan dan rantau Eropah. Seperti di Belanda, pengangkutan awam negara Sweden adalah mesra kurang upaya di mana terdapat dua jenis perkhidmatan yang disediakan untuk membantu perjalanan golongan kurang upaya. Dua perkhidmatan tersebut adalah perkhidmatan Pengangkutan Kurang Upaya dan Perkhidmatan Mobiliti Negara.

Perkhidmatan Mobiliti Negara[43] berfungsi untuk membantu perjalanan golongan kurang upaya dengan menyediakan kereta atau minibus mesra kurang upaya untuk pengangkutan golongan kurang upaya. Perkhidmatan ini bergantung kepada jarak yang disasarkan. Perkhidmatan Pengangkutan Kurang Upaya pula adalah perkhidmatan yang menyediakan kenderaan mesra kurang upaya yang yang tidak kira tempat dan jarak tempat yang disasarkan.[44]

Bagi warga Sweden yang lain, perkhidmatan pengangkutan awam secara amnya terdiri daripada, teksi, basikal, feri dan kereta api yang disediakan oleh Swedish State Railways dan Pas Satu Negara InterRail menyediakan perjalanan untuk tiga, empat, enam atau 8 hari satu bulan dalam negara Sweden.[45] Bagi perjalanan dalam bandar, perkhidmatan trem disediakan seperti di Gothenburg yang menyediakan perkhidmatan seluruh bandar Gothenburg.[46]

Akibat kebergantungan yang tinggi terhadap pengangkutan awam di Sweden, sebanyak 1.2 bilion perjalanan dilakukan secara rantau dan tempatan di negara Sweden menggunakan pengangkutan awam.[47] Bagi perkhidmatan basikal di bandar Stockholm, sesiapa yang tidak mempunyai basikal persendirian boleh menyewa basikal yang disediakan. Penyewaan basikal ini dilaksanakan melalui sewaan automatik di stesen-stesen sewa basikal yang menggunakan komputer dan kad sewaan.[48]

Terakhir sekali, lanskap pengangkutan awam Sweden bakal berubah dengan pelaksanaan projek Swedish Doubling yang merupakan kerjasama antara para operator, kerajaan tempatan, badan pemikir rantau Eropah, penguatkuasa pengangkutan awam dan pembuat keputusan. Projek ini bertujuan untuk menambahkan lagi kualiti pengangkutan awam dan membangunkan lagi pengangkutan awam di negara Sweden. Antara kejayaan projek tersebut adalah persetujuan daripada 50,000 para pemandu seluruh negara Sweden untuk meninggalkan kenderaan persendirian mereka yang menaiki pengangkutan awam secara percuma selama dua minggu. Meskipun ianya masih dalam tempoh percubaan, program ini telah memperlihatkan peningkatan dalam penggunaan pengangkuran awam sebanyak 20 peratus. Program berjaya di bawah Swedish Doubling ini memperlihatkan lebih daripada separuh daripada pemilik kenderaan persendirian meninggalkan kenderaan mereka dan menggunakan pengangkutan awam di bawah program “Park and Ride”. Begitu juga kejayaan program “Bike and Ride” yang memperlihatkan pemilik kenderaan persendirian meninggkalkan kenderaan persendirian mereka dan menggunakan pengangkutan awam.[49]

Perancis

Pemantauan ke atas pengangkutan awam di negara Perancis dilakukan di peringkat negara dengan Suruhanjaya Antarabandar di Perancis akan menilai kemudahan pengangkutan awam. Manakala ianya merupakan tanggungjawab operator pengangkutan awam untuk menyediakan kadar tambang bagi golongan kurang upaya.

Pengangkutan awam di Perancis dikendalikan oleh 7 operator pengangkutan awam[50]. 7 operator ini terdiri daripada:

1.Eurolines – memberi perkhidmatan bas kepada 1500 destinasi seluruh rantau Eropah

2.Eurostar – memberi perkhidmatan kereta api daripada Perancis kepada London.

3.Noctilien – perkhidmatan bas malam yang mempunyai 35 laluan seluruh negara Perancis.

4.RATP Paris Publis Transport Network – memberi perkhidmatan hampir semua perkhidmatan pengangkutan awam di seluruh negara Perancis. Antara perkhidmatan yang ditawarkan adalah, kereta api metro, bas, trem, kereta api laju, perkhidmatan khas bagi kawasan-kawasan yang tiada perkhidmatan awam dan perkhidmatan khas untuk golongan kurang upaya.

5.SNCF Transilien – merupakan perkhidmatan pengangkutan awam yang berkhidmat di kawasan-kawasan pinggir bandar.

6. Thalys – memberi perkhidmatan kereta api laju antara Perancis dan Bandar-bandar Utara rantau Eropah.

7.Cityrama – memberi perkhidmatan udara dan kereta api di seluruh negara Perancis.

Bagi pengangkutan alternatif di Perancis, jaringan jalan raya sepanjang 880,000km di negara tersebut, terbuka untuk digunakan oleh para pengguna basikal. Di samping itu, di bandar-bandar seperti di bandar Paris pula, laluan

Penutup

Secara amnya, kajian KPRU mendapati sistem AES berfungsi sebagai suatu dasar untuk mengaut keuntungan. Jika kerajaan adalah serius bagi memperbaiki keselamatan jalan raya para pengguna di Malaysia, maka suatu sistem pengangkutan yang komprehensif harus dilakukan. Ini termasuklah sistem pengangkutan awam yang cekap dan efektif, kempen kesedaran di semua lapisan masyarakat mengenai kepentingan keselamatan jalan raya, dan rangkaian jalan raya yang selamat dan berkesan.

Corak am yang melakarkan pelaksanaan program AES di Malaysia dan di negara lain adalah pelaksanaan program AES adalah berteraskan usaha kerajaan atau pihak berkaitan untuk meraih keuntungan sementara para pengguna jalan raya dibebani dengan kadar saman yang tinggi. Bagi program AES yang berjaya, contohnya di Belanda dan Sweden pula, program AES dikatakan berjaya berbanding negara lain kerana kerajaan di negara-negara tersebut berusaha untuk menyediakan sistem pengangkutan awam yang cekap dan komprehensif, lantas menjadikan usaha terhadap memperbaiki keselamatan jalan raya, suatu usaha menyeluruh dan tidak terpencil.

Bagi kebanyakan program AES yang dilancarkan, program tersebut dalam kajian ini menemui penentangan daripada rakyat dan pengguna jalan raya negara tersebut. Bagi setiap program AES gagal yang dilaksanakan, ianya adalah kerana kerajaan berkenaan melaksanakan program AES tersebut dalam keadaan tersembunyi, tanpa rundingan bersama rakyat dan para pengguna jalan raya di kawasan tersebut khususnya pada peringkat perancangan. Penentangan yang diberikan oleh para pengguna jalan raya acapkali membawa kepada penutupan program AES akhirnya.

Pada tahun 2006[51], sebuah siasatan samaran di UK telah menemui kamera trafik sememangnya dilakukan untuk meraih keuntungan bagi kerajaan dan syarikat pembekal kamera trafik dan bukannya untuk meningkatkan keselamatan di jalan raya. Malah menurut siasatan tersebut, kamera trafik sememangnya direka untuk mengaut keuntungan daripada pengguna jalan raya di mana saman-saman yang bernilai berjuta-juta akan disalurkan secara rahsia kepada kerajaan dan bukannya memberi semula wang tersebut untuk memperbaiki keselamatan jalan raya.

Ianya harus diberikan perhatian di mana penentangan terhadap syarikat-syarikat pembekal kamera trafik mencapai tahap kritikal di mana terdapatnya laman sesawang yang menyenaraikan kegagalan syarikat-syarikat tersebut. tersebut dalam memperbaiki keselamatan jalan raya. Pada tahun 2011, syarikat berkaitan telah kehilangan sebanyak USD$2.4 juta dalam kontrak berikutan permintaan ke atas kamera trafik yang kian menurun dan penentangan terhadap kamera-kamera trafik yang kian meningkat[52]. Pada tahun 2012, nilai saham syarikat berkaitan di Amerika Syarikat pula menjunam daripada USD$2.10 kepada USD$1.76 (16 peratus) selepas ianya dilaporkan bahawa syarikat berkaitan terlibat dengan amalan rasuah dengan para pegawai majlis perbandaran untuk mendapatkan kontrak pemasangan kamera trafik.[53]

Di Malaysia, di mana kecacatan sistem pengangkutan awam dan amalan rasuah sering dibangkitkan, apakah pelaksanaan sistem AES yang penuh dengan bantahan akan ditangguhkan oleh kerajaan hari ini? Pendek kata, kita nakkan kerajaan yang dahulukan kepentingan kroni atau kepentingan rakyat terbanyak?


[2] ibid

[3] DelmarvaNow, Battle With Traffic Cameras Intensifies, 11 November 2012, http://www.delmarvanow.com/article/20121112/NEWS01/311120028/Battle-traffic-cameras-intensifies

[4] Washington State Legislature, RCW 46.61.400 Basic Rule And Maximum Limits, http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=46.61.400

[5] WTOP, D.C. Speed Cameras Cost $52M To Operate For Three Years, 22 November 2012, http://wtop.com/41/3129799/DC-speed-cameras-cost-52M-to-operate

[6] Washington Times. EDITORIAL: Speed-camera pain threshold, 27 Mac 2012, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/mar/27/speed-camera-pain-threshold/

[7] Motorists, Revenue Drives Red Light Cameras, Not Safety. Julai 2001,

http://www.motorists.org/press/revenue-drives-red-light-cameras-not-safety

[8] Chicago Sun Times, Speed-Camera Revenues Figure In Emanuel’s ‘Children First’ Budget, 10 Oktober 2012, http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/15673202-418/no-new-city-taxes-but-pension-threat-looms-emanuel-says.html

[9] Carrental Scout, Driving and Speed Limits in Chicago,

http://carrentalscout.com/driving-speed-limits-chicago

[10] Monash Uni, Accident Research Centre, The History and Development of Speed Camera Use, September 2005, http://www.monash.edu.au/miri/research/reports/muarc242.pdf

[11] Calgary Herald, Calgary traffic cameras capture thousands of speeders, 2 Mac 2012, http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/Calgary+traffic+cameras+capture+thousands+speeders+video/6237116/story.html

[12] Winnipeg Sun, Photo Radar Could Make Winnipeg Record Profits If 7-Year Deal OK’ed, 18 November 2012,

http://www.winnipegsun.com/2012/11/18/photo-radar-could-make-winnipeg-record-profits-if-7-year-deal-oked

[13] DailyMail, The Sneakiest Camera In Britain? Bus Lane Snooping Machine Hidden Behind A Tree Catches 1,500 Drivers In A Single Week, Netting Council Around £90,000, 26 Jun 2012,

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2164970/Bus-lane-camera-hidden-tree-catches-1-500-drivers-single-week-netting-council-90-000.html#ixzz2CjfhDyBe

[14] BBC, Speeding Fines In Avon And Somerset Fell By 70% Last Year, 13 November 2012, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-20308752

[15] Association of British Drivers, A Review Of The Effectiveness Of Speed Cameras, 9 Januari 2011, http://www.abd.org.uk/downloads/EffSpeedCamReview.pdf

[16] Telegraph, Speed Camera Switch-Off Sees Fewer Accidents, 7 Ogos 2010, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/news/7931842/Speed-camera-switch-off-sees-fewer-accidents.html

[19] EuroNews, French Motorists Angry Over New Laws, 16 Jun 2011,

http://www.euronews.com/2011/06/18/french-motorists-angry-over-new-laws/

[20] Telegraph UK, Suspected ‘Speed Camera’ Guerrilla Blows Himself Up, 28 Mei 2008, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/2041993/Suspected-speed-camera-guerrilla-blows-himself-up.html

[21] The Newspaper, The Newspaper, DC, New Mexico, France: Speed Cameras Marked, Attacked, 29 April 2012, http://thenewspaper.com/news/37/3778.asp

The Newspaper, New Jersey, France: Speed Cameras Shot, Sprayed, Scorched, 12 Ogos 2012, http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/38/3866.asp

[22] The Local, Speed Cameras Make Record Profits For State, 10 Ogos 2012,

http://www.thelocal.fr/page/view/speed-cameras-make-record-profits-for-french-government#.UMVRHuSR-Ds

[23] French Property, Driving In France – Offences And Penalties,

http://www.french-property.com/guides/france/driving-in-france/driving-offences/

[25] ABC News, Speed Camera Revenue Up 80 Per Cent, 25 Mac 2010,

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2010-03-25/speed-camera-revenue-up-80-per-cent/378724

[26] CourierMail, Newman Government To Add More Speed Cameras And May Outsource Them To Boost Revenue, 29 October 2012,

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/newman-government-to-add-more-speed-cameras-and-may-outsource-them-to-boost-revenue/story-e6freoof-1226504919166

[27] The Telegraph, Top Ten Must Lucrative Speed And Red Light Cameras With Eyes On Revenue In NSW, 13 Jun 2011,

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/top-ten-must-lucrative-speed-and-red-light-cameras-with-eyes-on-revenue-in-nsw/story-e6freuy9-1226073923193

[28] Wakeup 2 The Lies, A Win Against The Police State: A Quarter Of Speed Cameras In NSW Turned Off, 29 Julai 2011,

http://www.wakeup2thelies.com/2011/07/29/a-win-against-the-police-state-a-quarter-of-speed-cameras-in-nsw-turned-off/

[29] USNews, 10 Best Cities for Public Transportation, 8 Februari 2011, http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2011/02/08/10-best-cities-for-public-transportation

[31] DOT, DOT’s Proposed Budget Invests $74 Billion in Safe, Efficient, and Innovative Transportation Programs, 13 Februari 2013,

http://www.dot.gov/affairs/2012/dot2312

[32] US Census Bureau,15. Passenger Transit Industry—Summary: 1990 to 2009, http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s1115.pdf

[35] US High Speed Rail Association, Us High Speed Rail Network Map,

http://www.ushsr.com/ushsrmap.html

[36] Infrastructure Kanada, Infrastructure Spotlight: Improving Public Transit for the 21st Century, http://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/plan/infra/trans/transit-transportencommun-eng.html

[39] AngloInfo, Buses, Trams, Metro and Train Services in Amsterdam, http://amsterdam.angloinfo.com/information/transport/public-transport/regional-public-transport/

[42]KTH Architecture and Built Environment, Ease-of-Use in Public Transportation – A User Perspective on Information and Orientation Aspects, 2008,

http://www.eltis.org/docs/Dziekan_kappa_final.pdf

[44] Tokyo Metropolitan University, Local Transport Systems for the Elderly and Disabled, Mei 2004, http://www.sortclearinghouse.info/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1166&context=research

[45] World Traveling Guide, Getting Around In Sweden,

http://www.worldtravelguide.net/sweden/getting-around

[46] Hotel Travel, Sweden Travel Guides,

http://www.hoteltravel.com/sweden/guides/transport.htm

[47] Swedish Public Transport Association, Brief Facts About Swedish Public Transport, http://www.svenskkollektivtrafik.se/Global/In%20english/slutkorr_6-siding_eng3.pdf

[51] Daily Mail, Undercover Probe Reveals The ‘Buckets Of Money’ Made From Speed Cameras, 15 Oktober 2006,

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-410449/Undercover-probe-reveals-buckets-money-speed-cameras.html#ixzz2EKtTjwSZ

[52] The Newspaper, Redflex Reports Drop in US Traffic Camera Revenue, 24 Ogos 2011, http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/35/3567.asp

[53] The Newspaper, Redflex Share Value Tumbles as Chicago, Illinois Contract Threatened, 18 Oktober 2012, http://thenewspaper.com/news/39/3926.asp