by M.Kulasegaran Deputy Secretary- General DAP Malaysia and Perak DAP Secretary
on 31st July 2002
in Ipoh, Perak
Attorney General need to advice the Police to cancel all summons issued under Section 115 (1) (a) of the Road Transport Act 1987
It is learnt that there is an outstanding 4.6 million traffic offenders who have not settled their cases with the police. As such the police have carried out various legal and extra legal means to nap the traffic offenders. The most well publicize one was the ops warta which had aroused concern to many motorist.
During this process of issuing summons to traffic offenders the police also started to issue a section 115 (1) (a) summons under the Road Transport Act 1987. Section 115(1) (a) states that - "duty to give information and use of statements as evidence" Generally the police will send a traffic offence notification known as POL 170A notices under section 115 for motorist to provide the drivers particulars within 7 days of receiving the said notice. But the contention of many is that "registered owners of vehicles" who admit that they have committed the traffic offence need not furnish particulars of drivers. But unfortunately the police have been imposing an additional RM300 fine on motorist who has not responded to when the police issue a POL170A notice.
On 19.6.02 the Secretary General of DAP, Malaysia and MP for Kola Melaka YB Kerk Kim Hock posed this dilemma of motorist during the recent parliamentary sitting and the Deputy Home Minister, Datuk Chor Chee Heong stated in the house that the police will seek the legal opinion from the Attorney General Datuk Abdul Ghani. The AG should publicly announce his views and advice the police with immediate effect.
One David Lim has been issued 6 summons for alleged speeding and at the same time he was also issued an additional 6 summonses under section 115 (1) (a) of the RTA. To date the said David has attended 5 different Magistrate Courts in the country and in all the cases the summons issued under section 115 (1) (a) of the Road Transport Act 1987 has been withdrawn by the Police in court.
In the case of one S. Munesparo Rao of Ipoh he was issued a summons during the "ops warta" operation on 29.5.02 while he was on the road. Further he was also issued a section 115 (1) (a) summons under the Road Transport Act 1987. In both case he was told that the offences could be compounded at RM300 per offence. But he refused to take the offer but decided to challenge it in court. He was accordingly asked to appear at the Taiping Magistrates Court on 9.7.02. Unfortunately when he attended court on 9.7.02 the court staff informed Rao that this particular summons has yet to be registered and as such to report back to the same court on 30.7.02. When he reported on 30.7.02 at the same court, the court staff said the summons has yet to registered and as such was requested to check at the Traffic Office Taiping. Upon checking it was discovered that the police had wrongly requested Rao to attend the Taiping Court. It seems this traffic offence comes within the jurisdiction of the Parit Buntar Magistrate Court. Roa a mechanic immediately decided to pay the compound even if it was RM300 for each summons as too much time was wasted as the cases does not proceed! But the traffic officer in Taiping said that summons under section 115 (1) (a) of RTA would be withdrawn and on the principle offence was offered a compound of RM 100, which Roa paid.
From the above scenario it can be easily deduced the difficulties a traffic offender will have to face if he chooses to challenge the offence in court. But the more important issue is the silence on the part of the police and the AG on the effect of a section 115 (1) (a) summons.
In this respect the DAP Perak will be writing to the AG, police and the Home Minister to take appropriate action to cancel all Section 115(1) (a) which has been issued The DAP urges the AG to state publicly that the issuance of the section 115 (1) (a) summons by the police is null and void and of no effect. Also to be fair, all monies and fines collected wrongly under section 115 (1) (a) must be refunded by the police.