KUALA LUMPUR: Road Transport Department (JPJ) enforcement officers will not get to carry firearms.
The departments application to arm its men has been rejected, said Transport Ministry parliamentary secretary Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai.
We have received the first reply from the police and it is 'no.' We (the ministry) are not sure whether we will apply again and there will be discussions among us but we will take our time as there is no hurry, he said yesterday.
Lim said one of the reasons for the rejection, which was made known at the end of last year, was that the officers were not trained to use firearms.
The request to arm JPJ enforcement officers came about last year after two Federal Territory JPJ officers were attacked on the Karak Highway.
Lim said that reapplication was not a priority as the ministry was concentrating on other matters such as cutting down the number of fatal accidents on the roads.
He was speaking to reporters after launching the 988 and Eu Yan Sangs Chinese New Year Road Safety Campaign.
The sponsors are Lian Bee Confectionary and Yee Lee Trading.
In his speech, Lim said that heavy rain had been identified as a cause behind the rise of road accident deaths during Ops Sikap III last year.
A total of 285 people died during the period, which was from Nov 29 to Dec 15, comprising an average of 19 deaths daily compared to about 17 deaths daily during previous operations.
We will be monitoring the situation during this Chinese New Year to see whether the increase is a trend, he added.
He also said that the ministry had set a target of reducing the percentage of deaths in every 10,000 vehicles to 2% compared to the current 5.12%.
The campaign, which runs from Jan 15 to Jan 31, will broadcast personal road safety messages from the ministry, local artistes and sponsors. Safety tips will also be aired.
Mandarin oranges, mineral water, nian gao and 988 goodies will be handed out to motorists at the Jalan Duta toll plaza on Jan 29.
Radio Rediffusion chief executive officer Christina Low said the campaign will emphasise to motorists the importance of getting home safely for the reunion dinner on Jan 31.
We want them to enjoy their good moments together so they should practise road safety, she added.
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