KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 2 — The Transport Ministry will find a solution that can safeguard both the operation of lorry drivers and at the same time keep the public safe.
Transport Minister Anthony Loke said there is a need for ongoing engagements between lorry driver associations and the Road Transport Department (RTD), with regards to looking for a mechanism to ease operation of lorry drivers.
“When referring to the picket, we need to look at why the picketing took place, because there is enforcement.
“I as a minister cannot say that RTD should not carry out law enforcement, because if we don’t carry out enforcement people will be mad at us … issues like lorry overloading and all that.
“We hope to look at both sides (of the issue), don’t pressure for no enforcement otherwise we are sending a wrong message, and I hope that there is a balance between these views,” Loke told the Parliament during his winding up speech on the Supply Bill 2024 debate today.
Loke was responding to PAS Jerantut MP Khairil Nizam Khirudin who highlighted demands from lorry drivers in a picket earlier this month for RTD to increase the current cargo limits and enable them to transport more goods.
The lorry drivers had gathered outside the traffic enforcement agency’s offices in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, Seberang Jaya in Penang, Kota Baru, Kelantan, as well as Kuantan, Pahang, to hand over memorandums of protest.
Among others, the memorandums urged for an increase in lorry cargo limits, enabling them to transport more goods.
Malaysiakini reported several accounts of lorry drivers grouses whereby among others said RTD’s operations were more toward “punishing”, and not “educating” motorists.
The report also highlighted that a lorry driver’s vehicle was seized for almost six months preventing the lorry driver from his daily operation which affected his income as he had to pay off his compound.
In a statement on September 18, the RTD said it seized these vehicles for carrying almost 140 per cent more than the permitted limit.
The enforcement was carried out under the Road Transport Act 1987 (Act 333) and the Land Transport Act 2010 (Act 715) for breach of procedures.