By Deidre Shannon Nair
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng met with the family of Khairizul Mohamad Noor, 39, a father of five, who died in an accident involving a drunk motorist at their family home near Bagan Jermal.
In the accident, the drunk driver crashed into the Khairizul’s motorcycle at the Bukit Mertajam exit to Perai.
Khairizul died at the scene while his wife, Zuriana Hasan, 36, was seriously injured and still remains in a coma at the Seberang Jaya Hospital.
The state government and agencies, the Welfare Department, and the Bagan Parliamentary constituency office has provided financial assistance to the family.
Lim conveyed his condolences and presented a RM5,000 donation to the children before he left. The finance minister was deeply saddened by the tragedy and has pledged to continue helping them through this difficult period.
Lim told reporters “The Transport Ministry is looking at doubling the punishments for drink-driving from 10 years’ imprisonment to 20 years, and from a RM20,000 fine to RM100,000 under Section 44(1) of the Road Transport Act 1987.”
There are about 7,000 road casualties reported every year and Malaysia has one of the highest accident death rates worldwide.
The family of Khairizul praised the move to impose heavier penalties on drunk drivers.
His father-in-law, Hassan Ismail, 67, said he was glad that the government was looking at doubling the punishments for drink-driving.
“If nothing is done (against drink-driving), I fear the situation will get out of hand. The drunk drivers will be more brazen and such accidents will continue to rise,” said Hassan.