‘MB: We ‘need laws ‘to punish ‘tontos’


  • Nation
  • Sunday, 11 May 2003

BY FREDERICK FERNANDEZ AND SIMON KHOO

TANJUNG KARANG: Tontos have become more daring in their tactics to intimidate the authorities – they rammed their car into a vehicle belonging to the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council enforcement division in Ampang yesterday. 

The vehicle was part of a raiding team inspecting four entertainment outlets which were allegedly being used for prostitution. 

Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo, who was part of the raiding team during the 2am incident, urged the Attorney-General’s Chambers to expedite the drafting of laws to act against tontos, which were proving to be a menace to enforcement officers. 

Dr Khir said it was frustrating that the authorities’ hard work to nab the illegal operators amounted to nothing when some of them were merely fined RM500 by the courts when the maximum penalty was RM25,000. 

The tonto network should be crippled as they were quick to alert the operators about the authorities’ presence, he told a press conference after attending the Mothers Day celebration at Dewan Datuk Hormat here yesterday. 

Dr Khir, however, was against arming enforcement officers. 

“What we immediately require are laws to punish these people who are interfering with the work of the enforcement authorities,” he said. 

In Kuala Klawang, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said the activities of tontos needed to be better understood by lawmakers before specific legislation could be drafted to address the problem. 

“For the moment, there is just not enough information given to the lawmakers about the activities of these so-called tontos,” he said after attending the Construction Industry Development Board’s training and community service programme at the Jelebu District Council hall yesterday. 

Dr Rais said he had spoken to Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, asking him to supply the necessary information. 

“We will extend our co-operation to assist him in drafting a new legislation or amend any existing ones to suppress the activities of tontos,” he said, adding that the proposed anti-stalking laws – which had yet to be adopted here – were being considered for incorporation into criminal laws. 

A brainstorming session, to be chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad, would be held soon to provide lawmakers with clearer guidelines on enforcement work, he said. 

In Seremban, Muhyiddin said he would forward the required information to Dr Rais and the Attorney-General’s Chambers in the next few days. 

“We acknowledge that this is a new form of criminal activity not properly addressed in the existing laws,” he said after launching a Securities Commission campaign to educate investors.  

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