Road safety

Wee: Working together to raise awareness, improve road safety

ISKANDAR PUTERI: There is a need to raise more awareness among the public, including parents, on road safety to avoid another basikal lajak tragedy, says Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.

The transport minister said all parties, including the police and other law enforcement agencies, must also work together to raise awareness and improve road safety.

“I ask for the cooperation of those dealing with enforcement, including the police, to step up surveillance and use the road transport law which has been well amended.

“This goes for all sorts of offences, including those of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, reckless driving and even basikal lajak activities.

“We have to educate them so that they don’t participate in such activities which could lead to another tragedy,” he said after attending a buka puasa event yesterday with media professionals.

He was answering questions about the Basikal Lajak tragedy in 2017, which claimed the lives of eight teenagers and sentenced a 27-year-old clerk to six years in prison.

As minister, Dr Wee said he respected the justice system and would not interfere with it.

Ramadan treat: Dr Wee offers food to media workers during the buka puasa event in Forest City, Iskandar Puteri. — THOMAS YONG/The Star

“We have amended the Road Transport Act to increase the penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, as well as mat lajak and mat rempit activities in 2020.” In this context, as an executive, we amended the law and it came into force. effective from the date of its publication.

“I believe in the judicial system and for me it is not right for the executive (power) to interfere with the judiciary,” he added.

On Wednesday, the Johor Baru High Court sentenced Sam Ke Ting to six years in prison and a fine of RM6,000 for the fatal accident that occurred at Jalan Lingkaran Dalam at 3:20 a.m. on February 18, 2017.

On another topic, Dr Wee said the Department of Transport was looking at ways to ensure those traveling between Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah and Sarawak could get cheaper airfares.

“On Wednesday, I told the Malaysian Aviation Commission, the Malaysian Civil Aviation Authority and three national airlines to hold a meeting to discuss the matter.

“They have been meeting for three days to find ways to ensure that the public can have a better price of flights.

“Once the meeting is over, I will report the outcome to the Prime Minister for further action,” he said.

Dr Wee added that the government was taking the matter seriously due to the festive season, with many people looking forward to reuniting with their families at home.