PETALING JAYA: Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong said amendments to the Road Transport Act, stipulating harsher penalties for drink driving and reckless behaviour, will become law next week.
He said royal assent for the amendments was obtained this week.
“The ministry will then gazette the amendment bill next week for it to become law,” he said on Facebook in response to criticisms of the jail term and fine meted out to a woman who caused the death of a Navy man.
Nur Fatin Nasrah, 23, pleaded guilty in Johor Baru on Thursday to four charges including driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs.
She was sentenced to six years in prison and fined RM8,000 for crashing into a car driven by naval personnel Mohd Rizal Buseri, 31, who died at the scene.
In noting public dissatisfaction over the punishment, Wee said the prosecutor and court could only try the case under the old provisions of the Road Transport Act.
He said the old section provided a penalty of a minimum of 3 years’ jail and a maximum of 10 years, and a minimum fine of RM8,000.
The amended section provides a minimum jail term of 10 years and a maximum of 15. The minimum fine is raised to RM50,000, with a maximum of RM100,000 for the first offence.
Wee said a lower penalty was provided under Section 45, for accidents caused by those driving under the influence that do not result in deaths.
He said the public prosecutor would decide on the appropriate charge based on the facts of the respective cases.
“The ministry of transport views public safety seriously, particularly when it involves reckless drivers or those that drive under the influence of alcohol and drugs and causing death or injury,” he said.