GEORGE TOWN: The Penang Smart Parking System, which was launched on Sunday, has hit a snag, leaving both the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) and Seberang Prai Municipal Council (MPSP) fuming.
Both local councils have each issued the contractor of the RM115 million project, Subang Jaya-based HeiTech Padu Bhd, with a show-cause letter, demanding an explanation for the failure of the system.
MBPP mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang said the incident was unacceptable and disappointing, as it had undermined the two local councils’ confidence in the company.
"The contract was finalised a few months back and its implementation was not in accordance to the agreed timeline in the contract.
"This is unacceptable and disappointing," he told a joint press conference with state Local Government Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo and MPSP president Datuk Rozali Mohamud today.
Rozali said there was no compromise in the issue as the failure of the system had given both councils a bad name since parking was under their jurisdictions.
Jagdeep said HeiTech was supposed to have installed 647 sensors on the island and 350 sensors on the mainland by Aug 18, according to the contract schedule.
“However, from what I was told, only 30 sensors were installed on the island,” he added, expressing hope for HeiTech to resolve whatever arising issues soon.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow had launched the smart parking system on Sunday and the apps were supposed to be available for download the same day.
Only the app on the iOS system, used by Apple devices, however, is available for download while the app on the Google Playstore for Android devices remain unavailable.
Since the launch, some 11,000 motorists had registered the app. To date, a total 212 transactions were recorded on the island and 56 transactions on the mainland.
Meanwhile, HeiTech vice-executive president Abdul Halim Md Lassim apologised for issues related to the smart parking system and reassured the state government that they are taking steps to rectify the issues.
He explained that his company had some technical issues with Google Playstore which delayed the readiness of the app for download, which is expected to take a few more days to resolve.
Speaking at a separate press conference later in the day, Chow said since it was a pilot project, the state government had anticipated issues arising from the smark parking system.
"Nevertheless, we asked the public to be patient. We are doing the necessary to ensure the system is up and about," he added.
A total of 36,000 coucil parking lots will be fixed with sensors in stages by August 2020.
With the use of a combination of technology including Internet of Things, cloud computing, navigation and electronic payment, the parking lots are equipped with sensors, which will allow users to locate available parking lots at their destination.
Users can then key in the details of the parking lot and pay for the parking fees electronically. Alternatively, users can also pay for parking via an e-Koupon by locating a nearby parking coupon agent.
HeiTech was awarded the smart parking project in May out of 61 companies that had tendered for the project.