Total ban on alcohol unfair to others, says Minister

Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah (Malay Mail Pic)

By Emma Victoria

PAS’ proposal to ban the production and sale of alcohol until a solution is found to curb drunk driving is unfair to those “responsible drinkers”.

Sarawak Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the country cannot generalise and punish everyone who drinks or manufactures alcoholic beverages.

However, he said the sale of alcohol must be properly regulated.

“Alcohol sales should be only allowed for licensed alcohol retailers and the authorities can impose how much one can sell.

Not all sundry shops should be selling alcohol (which is happening now) while drinking houses must also set limits on the amount of alcohol that can be sold to a customer. No one should be allowed to drink as if there is no tomorrow,” he said.

“We cannot accept irresponsible drivers who drink and drive and become a menace and nuisance to other road users.

Innocent road users must be protected and those irresponsible drivers who drink and drive must be given the harshest penalty for causing misery to families whose members died due to their acts.

In Taiwan, I was made to understand that those that are drunk and still drive causing death can also be sentenced to death. I fully support this kind of law in Malaysia,” he said when contacted.

Karim said it might sound harsh but if existing laws are not able to curb this menace, a harsher penalty is necessary.

“We are not against people drinking alcohol but they must know their limit as well as be responsible to other road users,” he stressed.

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