Mat Rempit, drunks covered by amendments, says minister

Youths doing dangerous stunts on a road using bicycles. This offence will also be covered under the amendments to the law. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong has clarified that the proposed amendments to the Land Transport Act to include heavier punishments for drunk drivers would also cover dangerous driving.

This would include illegal racing such as Mat Rempit and Basikal Lajak.

He said the proposed amendments to Section 41 to Section 45 of the Land Transport Act (1987) would punish any form of reckless or dangerous driving.

He also denied that the amendments will restrict the freedom of non-Muslims to consume alcohol, saying that the issue has nothing to do with religion.

“This is an issue about personal safety. Any final amendments to the act are to impose more severe punishments against dangerous drivers and it has nothing to do with race,” Wee said in a Facebook post.

He added that heavier punishments against the perpetrators would prevent unnecessary deaths from accidents.

There has been an increase in the number of accidents involving intoxicated drivers as of late.

PAS has recently suggested that the government suspend the production and sale of alcohol until a solution is found to curb drink driving.

Former transport minister Loke Siew Fook has said that there should be “zero tolerance” for drunk drivers.

He said among the amendments he had previously suggested under the 1987 Road Transport Act were increasing the maximum 10-year jail sentence to 20 years, and reducing blood alcohol content from 80ml to 50ml, in line with recommendations of the World Health Organization.

“Our stand was clear. We are not denying the rights of non-Muslims to consume alcoholic drinks, but you do not have the right to drive and endanger others,” Loke said.

Police said they had arrested 822 motorists for drink driving over the first five months of this year. Drunk drivers had also caused 22 accidents during this same period.

They intend to increase operations against drunk drivers nationwide.

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