Ex-minister questions decision on darker window tint

A worker applies tint to the windows of a car at a workshop in Kuala Lumpur. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Former transport minister Liow Tiong Lai today questioned the ministry’s decision to allow motorists to tint their rear windows “as dark as they want”, asking if the government had gathered the views of the relevant authorities and stakeholders before reaching this decision.

“I just heard about the announcement. To me, security should be the priority in the decision-making process on public policy,” he said.

The transport ministry in its announcement also said front windshields and front driver and passenger side windows must allow 70% and 50% light through.

The Road Transport Department (JPJ) previously allowed a tint of 70% for rear windscreens and rear passenger windows, 50% for driver and front passenger windows, and 30% for the front windshield.

Liow said during his time in the transport ministry, there was a committee to study the issue of tinted windows.

“This was a big committee that consisted of transport ministry officers, police, Miros (Institute of Road Safety Research) and other stakeholders. We organised workshops for stakeholders such as accessories shop operators to inform them of what we were implementing.

“That was how the committee came up with the 30%, 50% and 70% for the front, driver, passengers and back windows,” he said.

Liow said the government’s decision to collect RM5,000 from owners of vehicles who wanted to fully tint windows appeared as if it was “looking at the revenue side”.

“There was a by-law for JPJ to exercise its discretion in allowing motorists to fully tint their windows for health purposes and to cater for high profile individuals. It’s not like now where anyone can apply (for fully tinted windows) as long as they can pay,” he added.

Liow’s successor and current Transport Minister Loke Siew Fook said individuals would have to fork out RM5,000 if their applications to fully tint car windows for safety reasons was allowed.

Loke also said a committee under JPJ would process the applications for full tinted windows.

Earlier, Bukit Aman’s Traffic Investigations and Enforcement Department director Azisman Alias said tinted windows made it difficult for police officers enforcing traffic laws.

He said his officers would have trouble looking at passengers through a heavily tinted window if they needed to inspect a car.

Azisman also said the police were not consulted before the decision was made to allow darker tints.