All state governments have been urged to create a transport portfolio to look into transport-related issues, said Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook.
Loke said this portfolio could help the states resolve problems related to transport.
“At present, not all states have a state executive councillor for transport. When I visit the states to meet with the menteri besar and chief ministers, I proposed that this portfolio be created to look into all issues related to transport, including road safety,” he said.
Loke was speaking to reporters after launching the 20th Yamaha Balik Kampung Balik Raya Road Safety Campaign organised by Hong Leong Yamaha Motor Sdn Bhd at the Sungai Besi Toll Plaza today.
He added that the Transport Ministry would also look into the need to review existing penalties on traffic offenders which result in deaths.
“We will look and review if there are other acts which provide heavier sentences to offenders involved in fatal accidents and we will look at integrated legislation, and on principle, I will give priority to road accidents,” he said.
Loke said road safety awareness programmes should be ongoing and not held only during festive seasons in order to create a culture which stressed on road safety among road users.
“This road safety culture is very important and should begin from schools. I urge parents and families, if we come across reckless drivers, reprimand them...sound the horn...this will make the offenders feel ashamed,” he said.
In a separate development, Loke urged event organisers not to allow for "waiting time" before starting the event.
“I feel many organisers usually allow the audience a ‘waiting time’ while waiting for the minister to arrive. I hope all organisers of events held for ministries or government bodies give us (ministers) and the public the same time.
“If the public arrives at 9, the minister will also come at 9. There is no need for a long wait, I do not like people waiting a long time for me, because it seems as though I am wasting other people’s time,” he said.
Loke said punctuality was a value upheld by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and should be emulated by all.
“This is the way of the new government. I also hope that all programmes are held moderately and not waste time as we can do other things,” he said.