KUALA LUMPUR, June 2 — Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong said his ministry is finalising amendments to Sections 41 to 45 of the Road Transport Act 1987 (Act 333) and promised harsher punishment for those convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
In a Facebook post last night, Wee said that the amendments will be brought to Cabinet for approval before subsequently being tabled during the next sitting of Parliament.
“We will definitely impose heavier penalties and longer jail terms on the driver of the vehicle. Especially those who are intoxicated and under the influence of drugs, we will not compromise and they will be subject to the heaviest penalties,” he said in the post’s accompanying video.
Wee also said the Transport Ministry (MOT) will be engaging with all stakeholders to educate the public on the dangers of driving under the influence.
He said that road safety education will be enhanced so that Malaysians will learn what constitutes right and wrong behaviour behind the wheel from a young age.
“We are putting our energy into stepping up our education in order to raise awareness among the public that a person is intoxicated and under the influence of drugs,” he said.
Wee added that MOT will also be revising the threshold for alcohol/respiratory/urine levels.
At present, the legal limit for alcohol while driving in Malaysia is 80 milligrams per decilitre or 100 millilitres.
A sudden increase in accidents and deaths caused by drunk drivers over the past week has sparked a national outcry and led to calls for the government to impose harsher penalties.
Currently, under Section 41 of Act 333, a person who is found guilty has to pay a fine of between RM5,000 and RM 20,000 and/or face jail time of between two and 10 years.
In February, the previous Pakatan Harapan government mooted the idea of increasing the fine to RM100,000 and 20 years in prison for motorists found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, as well as for dangerous driving, which results in death.