Better road safety awareness needed to avoid another ‘basikal lajak’ tragedy, says Dr Wee

ISKANDAR PUTERI: There is a need to increase public awareness, including parents, on road safety to avoid another tragedy of ‘basikal lajak’, says Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (photo).

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.

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“I seek the cooperation of those dealing with enforcement, including the police, to step up their 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, dangerous driving and even ‘basikal lajak’ activities.

“We have to educate them so that they don’t fall into such activities which could lead to another tragedy,” he said on Saturday April 16 after hosting a buka puasa event with media professionals from Johor here in Forest City.

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

Dr Wee added that as transport minister he respects the justice system and will not interfere with it.

“We have amended the Road Transport Act to increase penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs as well as for ‘mat lajak’ and ‘mat rempit’ activities in 2020.

“In this context, as an executive, we have amended the law and it comes into force from the date of its publication.

“I believe in the judiciary and for me it is not fair that the executive (power) teaches the judiciary,” he said.

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On Wednesday, April 13, 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 here at 3:20 a.m. on February 18, 2017.

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

“On Wednesday (April 13), I requested the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom), the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) and three national airlines to meet to discuss the matter. .

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

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

He said the government was looking seriously at the issue, especially over the festive season when many were looking to reunite with their families at home.

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