What happened with the Penang Smart Parking?

Both the Penang Island and Seberang Perai City Councils, and the company HeiTech Padu Bhd (HeiTech) are answerable to taxpayers because of the seriousness of the multimillion Ringgit ‘glitch’ regarding installation of sensors on 647 council parking lots in Penang. It is more than a ‘glitch’ because out of the 647 sensors, only 30 (4.6%) had been installed.

The company had failed to deliver what they had agreed upon in terms of the installation of sensors and the availability of the app from Google store. The app is only available on Apple iOS. Such gross failure tainted the state government’s effort in introducing the ‘Penang Smart Parking’ (PSP).

The public is interested about the launch of PSP:

· How did this happen and what prevented the installation of the remaining 617 of the sensors?

· Why were there only 30 sensors installed?

· Why was the app unavailable in Google store before the launch?

· Did the local authorities monitor the progress of the project before the launch of PSP?

Had the progress of the project, including the availability of the apps to the public, been monitored by the relevant authorities then it should not have resulted in such an embarrassing launch. The launch could have been postponed until all problems had been ironed out.

With the launch, the system is supposed to start with the 647 parking lots but now there are only 30 of them. Is the Penang Island City Council collecting parking from only the 30 parking lots or has HeiTech to compensate the Councils for the shortfall until the system is fully operational?

Vehicle owners are still unaware of how this system works and how it is going to affect the older generation who are not smart phone savvy or do not have a smartphone. Vehicle owners also need to know what they are going to do with the remaining current parking coupons after the implementation of PSP or if they will be fined if they run out of coupons at places where PSP has yet to be implemented. Will parking coupon sellers be able to return the tickets when PSP is fully implemented?

We urge the state government to make public the response by HieTech as it concerns every taxpayer and the issues pertaining to the current parking coupons. Since PSP is already in the process of a trial run, vehicle owners would also be interested in knowing what kind of e-wallet that they can use.

Press Statement, 23 August 2019