Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong today said the government’s move to amend the Road Transport Act 1987 (Act 333) was to allow stern action to be taken against drink-drivers, not to violate the right of individuals to consumer alcohol.
He also said the amendment was aimed at ensuring the safety of road users.
“We do not want to violate people’s right. If they want to drink (alcohol), go ahead unless they are Muslims.
“But after drinking, they should not be driving,” he said in response to Raj Munni Sabu on whether the government would proceed with amending the law at the Dewan Negara sitting today.
While the number of deaths caused by drink-drivers was not high, Wee said it nevertheless affected society. He said the government needed to commit to proactive measures to overcome the problem.
“It requires the government to take comprehensive action, not only through enforcement, but also education through advocacy. This is important to make the people understand why the government needs to take firm action,” he added.
Wee also said the law empowered the government to take stern action not only against those caught driving under the influence of alcohol, but also those under the influence of drugs, as well as reckless drivers and “mat rempit” or illegal motorcycle or car racers.
He said the Road Transport (Amendment) Bill 22020 was scheduled to be tabled in the Dewan Negara in mid-September.
The bill was passed by Parliament on Aug 26.