Lo Khere Chiang

KUCHING: Another local politician has expressed his objection to Malaysian Islamic Party’s (PAS) call for the government to suspend production and sale of alcohol.

Batu Kitang assemblyman Lo Khere Chiang would like to remind PAS leaders that Malaysia is a multiracial, multicultural and multireligious country.

“We must be sensitive to each other’s religious beliefs and cultural practices.

“We must never use religious or cultural beliefs to champion for political support and weaken the very fabric that is the strength and value of this nation,” he said.

Lo, who is also Padawan Municipal Council chairman (MPP), said alcohol, like everything else when taken irresponsibly and over consumed, was bad. 

Similarly, he pointed out that, driving irresponsibly, weaving in and out at high speeds would also cause accidents and deaths.

He said intoxication and alcohol were not the only cause of deaths on the roads in Malaysia, adding that Malaysia had one of the highest accident rates in the world.

“What does this mean? We are a society that lacks discipline and courtesy on the road. 

“We speed without heeding speed limits. We overtake in narrow roads and blind corners and how often do we find people meddling with their mobile phones instead of putting both hands on the wheel,” he said.

More often than not, he said, visitors and friends commented on “how great Malaysians are, kind and hospitable, but it was embarrassing enough that Malaysia has one of the most uncourteous people on the road and drives after a drink.” 

“We should not blame our misdeeds and indiscipline on alcohol. Laws are there to prohibit anyone from driving after a drink,” Lo added.

He welcomed stricter laws to ban and even withdraw one’s driving licence, including jail sentences for those who lacked discipline and drink while driving causing danger to the lives of others and themselves. 

“Let us not put the blame solely on alcohol but strengthen our multicultural and religious backgrounds via education to instil this invaluable trait and discipline among Malaysians on the road and generally.”