We won’t deny non-Muslims their rights but drink driving must stop, says minister

A policeman died at a roadblock at the Lebuhraya Kajang-Seremban (Lekas) highway on May 3 after he was hit by a pick-up truck driven by a man believed to be drunk. (Facebook pic)

PETALING JAYA: Non-Muslims will not be denied their right to consume alcohol but they must adhere to the law that they should not drink and drive.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of legal affairs, Takiyuddin Hassan, said the government is firm in enforcing laws against drink driving and will push for the proposed amendments to impose a custodial sentence under the Road Transport Act, to be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat soon.

“We support the transport ministry in amending the Road Transport Act. With the amendments, the public prosecutor can press charges against offenders in the Sessions Court instead of in magistrate courts,” he added.

Recently, Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong launched an online survey, seeking public opinions on penalties against those driving under the influence of alcohol.

He added the ministry wanted to know the public’s views on the alcohol content limit that should be allowed as well as punishment under the law.

Takiyuddin also said as a deterrent measure, the government will discuss with the public prosecutor’s office in proposing that drink driving cases involving deaths be probed for murder or attempted murder as well.

A police officer, Safwan Muhammad Ismail, was hit by a driver while he was on duty at the Lekas Highway roadblock earlier this month.

The driver, K Kalaichelvan, pleaded not guilty to charges of drink driving and ramming the roadblock.

Another individual, Irwan Herman Kamarudin, who was an Alam Flora employee, was killed by a vehicle driving against the traffic flow along Jalan Pintasan, Kuantan.

The driver, suspected of being drunk, has been remanded for investigations.

PAS information chief Kamaruzaman Mohamad had called for the government to suspend the production and sale of alcohol until a solution is found to curb drink driving.

Fake or not? Check our quick fake news buster here.