No-one condones drink-driving. Malaysians, including Malays, have been drinking and driving for decades.
Sufficient laws protect our road users, but they are poorly enforced. It is an open secret that some policemen only need to name a price to cover-up an infraction of the motoring laws; but why is there a renewed and unprecedented focus on drink-driving accidents?
Malaysians must remain vigilant because this could be a very subtle attempt by PAS to introduce syariah laws into secular Malaysia.
The ban on alcohol is one way to control the lives of non-Muslims. No-one should be lulled into thinking that syariah laws only affect Muslims. The plight of Hindu mother, Indira Gandhi, is a constant reminder.
On a larger scale, a ban on alcohol would have serious repercussions on employment within the tourist trade, the hospitality industry, the entertainment scene, airlines, drink manufacturers and the ancillary trades which cater to the brewing companies, like duty-free outlets, supermarkets, warehouses, drivers and bottle manufacturers.
The festive season from December to February, comprising, Christmas, end-of year office parties, New Year and Chinese New Year celebrations are over. So, are people consuming more drink this May and June?
Malaysians drink and drive throughout the year, but this sudden emphasis on accidents caused by drink-driving is puzzling. Is it better reporting or is there another reason?
The recent spate of drink-driving accidents is worrying. The Movement Control Order (MCO) means that pubs and non-halal restaurants are shut. No-one is allowed to visit friends.
However, drivers, who crashed after having a drink with friends, are making headlines. Shouldn’t this trigger alarm bells? Is the lockdown being disregarded? Or are people drinking on their own, because they are bored, or lonely? The Ministry of Health should highlight the dangers of drinking alone.
Is PAS aware that its proposal to ban alcohol to curb drink-driving, will only drive the trade underground?
When this happens, enforcement will be more difficult and the treasury will be deprived of the tax revenue. Perhaps, an increase in the sale of boot-leg alcohol will cause more deaths than car accidents.
On 26 May, the PAS information chief, Kamaruzaman Mohamad, urged the suspension of the production and sale of alcoholic beverages, until the issue of drink driving has been resolved. This knee jerk response will not educate the population about ‘drink-driving’ related deaths.
Will PAS propose a ban on lorries, because road haulers overload their vehicles and turn a blind eye to drivers who have been charged with traffic violations, speeding and driving under the influence of drugs? Many deaths are caused by speeding lorries, lorries with dodgy brakes, and broken lights.
Will PAS punish the officers of the Road Transport Department (RTD) for encouraging the breaking of the law, by accepting bribes for lorries which repeatedly fail the various RTD tests?
Drugs can impair one’s ability to drive. If anecdotal evidence is to be believed, the consumption of drugs is highest amongst one particular racial group. Where is the focus on drug users who cause road accidents and deaths? When will the authorities take serious action against those who control the drug trade?
On 2 June, the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) froze all new applications for liquor licences. How will this reduce accidents caused by drunk drivers?
The spate of drink-driving related accidents is worrying but more deaths are caused by people who drive irresponsibly. Should PAS ban driving?
Government statistics show that out of a total of 55,887 road deaths from 2011 to 2019, only 47 were drink-driving related. More deaths were caused by speeding, negligence, and drivers on drugs.
Road users are terrorised by Mat Rempits on their kap-cais. The Mat Rempits perform stunts on highways, disregard our safety and cause many accidents.
A few million Malaysians drive without driving licences. Many drive vehicles which are not insured. These road users do not know the highway code and cause more deaths than drunks.
Fatal accidents are also caused by drivers who use their mobile phones while driving. Would PAS ban mobile phones to punish people who cause accidents whilst driving? Or will they cease the issuance of new driving licences to stop road accidents and prevent deaths?
For the past thirty years, the people of Kelantan have been unable to enjoy going to a cinema to watch a film. The state administration thinks that banning cinema going will curb social ills. It won’t. The men still source cheap sex and drugs across the border, in Thailand. PAS’ knee-jerk reactions are ineffective.
In 2014, PAS MP, Nik Abduh Nik Aziz, blamed Thailand for an increase in HIV & AIDs among the population of Kelantan. In 2017, the then Deputy Mentri Besar, Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah again blamed Thailand for the rise in HIV cases in Kelantan.
PAS should try sex-education to highlight the dangers of unprotected sex. Banning cinemas has not stopped “social ills” in Kelantan.
Similarly, banning alcohol is not going to stop drink-driving; but education, more advertisements on the dangers of drink-driving, better and stricter enforcement will help.