Why still no heavy punishment for drunk drivers? PAS asks transport minister

Soo Wern Jun
PAS' Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said there is a public demand for Act 333 be amended specifically to include punishment for drunk driving causing death. ― Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

KUALA LIMPUR, Jan 24 — The Islamist Party of Malaysia (PAS) has called out the transport minister for failing to amend the Road Transport Act 1987 (Act 333) to include heavy punishment for drunk drivers involved in deadly accidents.

According to the party’s deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, there is a public demand for Act 333 be amended specifically to include punishment for drunk driving causing death.

Pursuant to Sections 41 and 44 of Act 333, the maximum sentence is imprisonment of not more than 10 years and a fine not exceeding RM20,000.

“Yesterday, a motorcyclist was killed and another seriously injured by a drunk driver on Jalan Kebun, Klang.

“Many innocent people, including children and women, die due to this trend of drunk driving. Until when these innocent people will continue to be the victims of this drunken driver? Why is the minister of transport still silent and has yet to amend Act 333?” he said in a statement today.

It was reported by The Star yesterday that a fatal accident involving a pick-up truck and two motorcycles occurred at around 7.20am, killing one of the motorcyclists at the scene.

A video of the incident had since gone viral on social media, with claims that the driver of the truck was drunk at the time of the accident.

The South Klang OCPD Asst Comm Shamsul Amar Ramli however reportedly said that initial breathalyser tests showed that the amount of alcohol in the truck driver’s blood was within permitted levels under the Road Transport Act.

In July 2018, Transport Minister Anthony Loke said the ministry would review the effectiveness of existing laws in dealing with drunk driving cases.

Loke had said that an immediate solution would be sought to address the issue after existing provisions under the law were not deemed sufficient to deter erroneous drivers. 

In a statement this morning, Loke stressed that his ministry was in the process of reviweing existing legislation on the matter, and would discuss it during the post-Cabinet meeting of his ministry next week.

But Tuan Ibrahim believes a more severe punishment was necessary, saying that PAS will do its best to push for legal amendments such as banning the sale of alcohol in large quantities.

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