Penang’s RM115m smart parking system hits snag, contractor told to show cause

A Penang Smart Parking system marker is seen on Gat Lebuh China, George Town August 20, 2019. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
A Penang Smart Parking system marker is seen on Gat Lebuh China, George Town August 20, 2019. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, Aug 20 — The Penang Island City Council (MBPP) and Seberang Perai Municipal Council (MPSP) have issued show-cause letters to the contractor of the RM115 million Penang Smart Parking System that hit a snag the moment it was launched two days ago.

MBPP Mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang and MPSP President Datuk Rozali Mohamud said they have demanded the contractor of the system, HeiTech Padu Berhad, to show cause for the failure of the system.

“This is unacceptable and disappointing as the contract was finalised a few months ago and the implementation of the system was not according to the agreed timeline in the contract,” Yew said in a joint press conference with Rozali and state executive councillor Jagdeep Singh Deo here today.

He added that the issues in the system have undermined the two councils’ confidence in HeiTech Padu.

Rozali said there is no compromise in this issue as the failure of the system had given both councils a bad name since parking was under their jurisdictions.

Both councils demanded HeiTech Padu explain the failure of the system, failing which action will be taken based on the contract conditions.

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow launched the smart parking system last Sunday and the apps were supposed to be available for download the same day.

However, only the app on the iOS system, used by Apple devices, was available for download while the app on the Google Playstore for Android devices remains unavailable.

There were other issues related to the new system such as inaccuracy on the number of vacant lots available and users being issued summons even though they used the app to pay for parking.

Jagdeep said HeiTech Padu was supposed to have installed 647 sensors on the island and 350 sensors on the mainland by August 18, according to the contract schedule.

“What I was told that only 30 sensors were installed on the island,” he said.

He added that this is a pilot project so there will be some issues with the system in the beginning but hoped HeiTech will resolve these issues soon.

HeiTech Padu vice-executive president Abdul Halim Md Lassim, who was also present at the same press conference, explained that his company had some technical issues with Google Playstore which delayed the readiness of the app for download.

“This will take a few more days for us to resolve and we are working with Google support to put up the app as soon as possible,” he said.

He said so far, a total 11,000 registrations were made through the iOS app since it was made available on Sunday.

“To date, a total 212 transactions were recorded on the island and 56 transactions on the mainland,” he said.

He apologised for the issues related to the smart parking system and reassured the state government that they are taking steps to rectify the issues.

“Penang Smart Parking HeiTech will be giving out free RM5 credit to the first 10,000 users on the Android app once it is made available,” he said.

The same free RM5 credit was already given to the first 10,000 users on the iOS app.

He said the company is gathering feedback from users and it can be contacted at 03-80268128 or email at [email protected]com.my.

The app for iOS is now available for download from psp.penang.my.

HeiTech Padu was awarded the smart parking project in May out of 61 companies that had tendered for the project.

The company, which will bear the RM115 million costs of installation and implementing the system, was given a seven-year concession.

The concession encompassed management, maintenance, enforcement, collection of revenue and operations of the system for both local councils.

For the first five years, the respective local council will get 35 per cent of the revenue share and HeiTech Padu the remaining 65 per cent; while in the final two years, the revenue share will be split 40 per cent for the council and 60 per cent for private company.

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