THE Penang government is currently in the midst of introducing stricter by-laws and regulations regarding liquor sales and its use.
State Agriculture, Agro-based Industries, Rural Development and Health Committee chairman Dr Afif Bahardin said this is part of the state government efforts to minimise the risk of accidents caused by alcohol consumption.
“This matter has already been discussed before in the state executive council meeting.
“And we are still in the process of gathering feedback from the police, local councils and various agencies and stakeholders so that we can come out with an effective policy to address this issue.
“We also are studying some of the policies involving some major cities worldwide to see how we can reduce the risk of accidents caused by alcohol.
“If we manage to receive enough support from everyone, we will implement the new by-laws as soon as possible.
“For the past few months, there have been a lot of accidents in our state because of drink drivers, resulting in the loss of innocent lives.
“This is truly unacceptable and this is why stricter by-laws and regulations regarding this matter are much needed,” Dr Afif told reporters after visiting an accident victim at Seberang Jaya Hospital yesterday.
According to Dr Afif, the accident victim, pillion rider Zuriana Hasan, 36, is currently in a stable condition.
She and her husband, Khairizul Mohamad Noor, were involved in an accident allegedly caused by a driver under the influence of alcohol at Km140.2 of the North-South Expressway (NSE), northbound, at the exit to Prai on Feb 9.
Khairizul, 39, died in the accident. The couple also has five children.
“I am glad various agencies such as Pusat Zakat Negeri Pulau Pinang (ZPP) and Social Welfare Department have also come forward to help the victims’ family members,” Dr Afif said.
He also visited a 11-year-old daughter who was abused by her parents.
The abuse incident came to light after police rescued the girl from her home in the Ampang Jajar flats in Butterworth on Feb 9.
“Her condition is getting better but she is still under observation because she has not yet fully recovered from the trauma.
“She is now under her grandmother’s care and has also received help from the Penang Social Welfare Department,” he added.
Story by Riadz Akmal
Pix by Ahmad Adil Muhamad