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Prioritise public safety, wellbeing over profiteering

A kilometre down the road from the Kuching international airport, shrouded in smoke - FILE PHOTO MALAYSIAN INSIDER

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Even if the lorry operators or owners want to stop work, let it be, writes JD Lovernciear.

It seems that the lorry drivers staged a tools-down protest in the wake of the ‘we mean business’ safety enforcement by the authorities.

“Besides medical check-ups by doctors for the renewal of commercial vehicle licences and public transport vehicle licences, (the lorry drivers, their associations and the owners of such vehicles) also urged that consideration be given on the issues of high summonses, overloaded cargo, vehicle inspections, reduction in the time of roadblocks and reduction in demerit points” (Malaysiakini).

In other words, what they are saying is that some of their drivers may not be certified fit to be behind the wheels. 

It has been long suspected that some lorries often break the law – overloading, poorly maintained vehicles, speeding – to make more money.

And they have the audacity to demand a relaxation of roadblocks and more lenient action. And they have the audacity to come up with a boycott protest and perhaps even a march to Parliament to register their demands.

Such tactics must be curbed before factory operators and taxi drivers who do not comply with safety laws indulge in similar tactics. Even if the lorry operators or owners want to stop work, let it be. Even if the economy slides, so be it.

Public safety and wellbeing must supersede profiteering and earning opportunities.

Hopefully, the authorities and especially politicians will not cave in just to win votes.

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