A proposal by the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) for the government to amend Section 42 (1) of the Road Transport Act to provide for a mandatory jail sentence on road thugs receive the support of various quarters.
Those interviewed felt that such a sentence could leave drastic impact on road thugs.
Head of the Psychology Programme, Faculty of Social Science and Humanities, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Associate Professor Dr Rozmi Ismail said the proposed amendment was necessary to rid the streets of road thugs, but that the matter had to be studied carefully.
“The issue on road thugs requires in-depth study to identify the group involved,” he said when contacted by Bernama yesterday.
Dr Rozmi said there was also a need to clearly define road thugs to avoid confusion.
“For example, a motorist who drives recklessly or at high-speed, will he be considered a road thug?” he added.
Bukit Aman Traffic police chief Datuk Abdul Aziz Yusof on Tuesday urged the government to amend Section 42 (1) of the Road Transport Act to make jail sentences mandatory so that offenders will automatically be sent to prison.
They are also expanding their special traffic squad nationwide and propose to send underage offenders to reform schools.
Crime analyst Kamal Affandi Hashim said the proposed mandatory sentences on road thugs should be enforced soon and that there should be joint efforts by all parties to address the problem.
He also said that efforts to combat the menace should also involve the Education Department and schools where drastic action, including expulsion, should be meted against students involved.
“Everybody should show interest and sincerity to solve the issue. If students are expelled from school because they are road thugs, their parents should accept the punishment and to also be responsible for their children’s action,” he said, adding that punishment should also be meted against the registered owners of vehicles used by road thugs.
The Peninsular Malaysia Road Transport Officers Union president Hamzah Masri, in a statement yesterday, said he believed that the proposed mandatory jail sentences would instil fear among road thugs.
“The union welcomed the proposal by PDRM to send road offenders, especially the underage and youths, to reform schools, and for them to be whipped,” he added.
Meanwhile, chairman of the Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Subang Utama Parent-Teacher Association, Rudy Yong, said a holistic approach was needed to curb the menace, adding that it would involve aspects like education.
He said the National Service training programme was the best platform to get youths to be involved in healthy activities.
“Beside the government, others, like parents and schools, should play their role to help the government tackle the problems on road thugs,” he added.