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KUALA LUMPUR, June 3 — MCA supports amendments to the Road Transport Act 1987 (Act 333) to provide stiffer penalties against driving under the influence (DUI) to protect innocent motorists against drunk drivers, said MCA secretary-general Datuk Chong Sin Woon.
In a statement here, Chong said this was timely in order to serve as a stern reminder and a lesson not to drive after consuming alcoholic drinks.
He added that the focus should not solely be on the sale of alcoholic drinks as this could open up space for the matter to be used as material for provocation and that this could lead to racial discord.
In Kota Kinabalu, Pertubuhan Islam Seluruh Sabah (USIA) president Datuk Sairin Karno told Bernama that USIA supported the government’s move to amend Act 333 to provide stiffer penalties against drunk drivers as there have been needless deaths due to them of late,
On May 30, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced that the Transport Ministry had been instructed to draft amendments to Act 333 following an increase in fatal road accidents that involved drunk drivers.
In Kota Baru, Persatuan Pengguna Islam Kelantan (PPIK) president Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Fared Abdul Ghani echoed the same, saying the issue of drunk drivers must be taken very seriously as the lives of innocent people were at stake.
Meanwhile, Gerakan president Datuk Dominic Lau Hoe Chai in a statement said the party supported the government’s move to consider stiffer punishment on drunk drivers to avoid more road fatalities due to DUI but differed on views about banning sale of alcoholic drinks because the responsibility should be placed on the offender .
“It is not a question of consuming alcoholic drinks. It is like when an individual uses a knife to kill someone, but we fault the seller of the knife, Are we going to ban sale of knives as a preventive measure?” he asked.
In George Town, Pergerakan Anti-Arak Murah Malaysia head David Marshel called on the government to set the floor price for hard liquor at RM50 to make it difficult to purchase by the masses, saying such drinks were currently as low as RM5 or RM6 per 125 ml bottle with 40 per cent alcohol content.
He said quantities below 700 ml a bottle should be banned outright and that sale hours from the 7am to 9pm period now for cheap liquor should be changed to 10am to 8pm.
He added that the NGO also wanted a ban on sale of alcoholic drinks at all retail outlets including 7-Eleven and 99 Mart and that such sale should only be allowed via special licensing for better control, besides banning consumption of alcoholic drinks in public places like housing estates, playgrounds and recreational parks. — Bernama