Wee: Issue of limiting the elderly from driving should be approached in holistic manner


PETALING JAYA: Denying driving licences to the elderly is a last resort and those still able to operate a vehicle will get to keep theirs, says Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (pic).

“Retracting or limiting senior citizens from getting licences should be a last resort once it is proven they are unable to drive,” said the Transport Minister in a Facebook video yesterday.

He said the issue needed a broader and more holistic view instead of focusing on age alone.

Dr Wee noted that the suggestion to limit motor vehicle licences (LKM or road tax) to senior citizens can also result in them borrowing another person’s vehicle to bypass the law.

“Referring to isolated incidents or evaluating an individual based on their age would be discriminatory.

“There are also many drivers aged 70 and above who display better driving proficiency than younger drivers,” he said.

He added that it was also the responsibility of individuals whose health is affecting their driving ability to hand in their licences to the Road Transport Department.

Dr Wee also called for all stakeholders to come together and create an effective and inclusive plan on the issue.

On Friday, Bukit Aman Traffic Investigation and Enforcement Department director Comm Datuk Azisman Alias had proposed that the government limit the issuance of motor vehicle licences to senior citizens.

He said this is because the health condition of senior citizens could contribute to road accidents.

He added that senior citizens should also undergo a medical check-up and get approval from a doctor to ascertain that they are fit to drive.

“Elderly people are more likely to suffer from health conditions such as Alzheimer’s and blurred vision, which can indirectly cause a road accident.

“There was a case where a senior citizen was caught driving on a motorcycle lane. The government needs to look into this issue,” he had told a press conference.

In a separate Facebook posting, Dr Wee noted that Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TAR UC) will continue to produce more graduates of all races.

The MCA president said TAR UC should continue its plans to train more students across the races who will be able to contribute to the country’s development.

“Even though TAR UC has faced many challenges due to political interference, particularly during the few years under Pakatan Harapan’s rule, it has successfully managed to overcome them.

“This is due to the efforts and cooperation from various parties who were concerned about the development of this education institution,” added Dr Wee.

He said this after chairing the Tunku Abdul Rahman College Education Foundation annual general meeting 2021, which was held online.

Nevertheless, Dr Wee, who is the foundation’s board of trustees chairman, said the past should be left behind.

“TAR UC should maintain its efforts in churning out talents from various races who will be able to contribute to society by providing high-quality tertiary education,” he added.

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