GEORGE TOWN (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Thousands of Malaysian motorists made a beeline for payment of traffic summonses following a 50 per cent discount offered by the southwest district police in Penang.
Some queued up as early as 1am at Giant hypermarket in Bayan Baru on Penang island, even though the counters would start operating from 9am to 4pm.
The offer, available for only two days, was to mark the district police headquarters' 'meet the people' programme.
M. Naresh from Bagan Serai in Perak, who had 19 unsettled summonses, was all smiles after making payment at the counter.
"I had to fork out RM1,600 (S$527) for the 19 summonses dating all the way back to 2003. The amount would have definitely been higher without the discount, " he said.
Lorry driver M. Tamilarasan, 50, who drove all way from Kuala Lumpur to settle his five summonses, said it was a worthwhile trip.
"I paid RM1,500 for my summonses, which is highly reasonable. The cost spent on my travel and food for the trip is negligible compared to the savings I made with the discount," he said.
A businessman, who wished to be known only as Tang, said he had 15 summonses accumulated from 2010.
"I travel a lot between Penang and Johor on business trips. I try my best to adhere to the speed limit, but sometimes end up being summoned, " he said.
The police chief for the Balik Pulau area Superintendant A. Anbalagan said motorists settled a total of 6,460 summonses amounting to RM753,850 in the two days.
"The response was overwhelming. We had to stop people from queueing up from 2pm onwards so that our counter staff could process the payments by 4pm when the computer system goes offline.
"We hope the move helped lessen the people's burden. The initiative also gave us the opportunity to meet the people.
He said an exhibition on crime and narcotics was also held, with officers at hand to provide necessary information.
"We decided to have the payment counters with the discount as a way to encourage the people to pay up their summonses."
The 50 per cent discount is, however, not applicable for accident cases and others such as those issued during Ops Selamat 2018 and 2019 in conjunction with Hari Raya, and cases being heard in court.