Yesterday I was asked by the media to comment on a question made by a Penang MCA leader that the CCTV cameras installed by Penang Island City Council cost RM59,707 per unit and that it is five times more expensive than those installed by KL City Hall.
The MCA leader also claimed that it just need a mere RM600 to instal a set of CCTV camera.
I am in no position to answer why 1500 unit of CCTV cameras installed by KL City Hall at PPRT flats cost RM12,886 per unit as I have no information of their CCTV system and specifications used.
Today with the Mayor Mr Yew Tung Seang, I visited the council’s CCTV operation centre at Level 4 Komtar to receive a briefing from the engineer in charge of the project.
Since 2013, the city council had spent almost RM47.78 millions to install 718 CCTV cameras in the various crime hotspots and traffic intersections in Penang Island to ensure we can make Penang safer and also better control traffic situation. This works out to an average of RM66,500 per unit of CCTV camera.
But it is futile to compare just by looking at the unit price of the CCTV camera as we are talking about a smart surveillance system using CCTV cameras installed around the city.
The contract of this smart system is just not about the CCTV cameras installed on street poles but included cost for site mapping, underground mapping, CCTV posts, lighting and earth system, electricity cable and board.
Next is the cost for CCTV equipments including cameras and a public announcement system and a wireless network system.
The latest phase also included the upgrading works of the control room at Komtar but also 4 other control rooms located at various police headquarters and a police station in Batu Feringghi. It entailed the provision of a video management system, video recording system, control centre operation system and network infrastructure from control room to wireless base station.
The contract sum also included 5 years of maintenance of all the site equipment and the control rooms.
Well the local council awarded the contract through open tenders and if there is any company that can fulfilled all the requirements with very competitive pricing can submit their bids for the next tender for another 150 CCTV cameras in 2018.
Interestingly, we also found that back in 2015, the Local Government Ministry has also implemented a CCTV programme in Penang Island with a budget of RM5.049mil for just 32 cameras. This would made the unit price of each camera RM157,800.
Maybe the Ministry likes to explain why it is so much higher than those implemented by the Penang Island City Council.
CHOW KON YEOW