TELUK INTAN: The Housing and Local Government Ministry is ready to consider suspending the issuance of new licenses to sell liquor following a rise in the number of road accidents involving drunk drivers.
However, its minister, Zuraida Kamarudin, said that there are several matters that must be considered and discussed with other ministries before a freeze can be implemented.
“We need to focus on how to strengthen the laws, and the punishments (for drunk driving) must be reviewed too.
“We also have transportation laws which are under the purview of the Transport Ministry, and this matter is also related to MITI (International Trade and Industry Ministry),” Zuraida told reporters after visiting Gerai Rakyat in Langkap here, today.
Also present were state Housing, Local Government and Tourism committee chairman Datuk Nolee Ashilin Mohd Radzi and state Agriculture, Fisheries, Plantation and Food Security Committee chairman Datuk Abdul Yunus Jamahri.
Zuraida said that her ministry will study the statistics on accidents involving drunk drivers before making any decision.
“We need to look at the statistics and we can’t blatantly make the decision on an ad hoc basis.
“We, the government, have to see the big picture before making a decision. What is important now is the punishment against the offenders and in the future, we will look into it (stop issuing liquor licenses),” she added.
Malaysia has seen a spate of fatal drunk driving accidents in recent weeks.
On the Gerai Rakyat in Langkap, Zuraida said the ministry has allocated RM3 million to upgrade the stalls.
“Upgrading works are expected to start within six months. Upon completion, there will be 40 lots instead of 15 today,” she added.