Offer tax relief under Budget 2021 to encourage use of child restraint seats

Veteran road safety advocate Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye has urged the government to offer tax relief for the purchase of child safety seats as a means to encourage the adoption of the child restraint system (CRS) policy.

The Alliance of Safe Community chairman said such an incentive, similar to the RM1,000 offered to mothers who buy breastfeeding equipment, should be studied.

“It is something to be considered in Budget 2021 … the government should offer some incentives to parents,” he said.

Lee made the call after Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong told the Dewan Rakyat today the government will not issue summonses to parents who do not use child car seats until the end of the year.

Instead, the government would continue focusing on advocacy and education to encourage the use of the device.

Wee said the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros) is studying the matter, including the appropriate CRS based on the height and weight of a child in line with United Nations Regulation No 129 on Enhanced Child Restraint Systems.

However, Lee said the authorities should be firm in fixing a deadline otherwise the ruling will never be implemented.

“This CRS initiative started when I was Miros chairman (in 2015). Back then, Miros was asked to strategise and work on the matter with the Road Safety Department, Road Transport Department and the police,” said Lee.

“After much campaigning, people said they could not afford it and kept asking for postponements on making it mandatory until these seats were more affordable,” he said.

Lee said although the latest postponement could largely be due to the economic impact of Covid-19, it was essential to continue to drive home the message to parents that these devices are meant to keep their children safe in an accident.

“The government too must engage with local manufacturers to ensure the seats are affordable. If the seats are imported, there should be a waiver on import duty,” he added.

A previous study by Miros showed that the leading group of child accident casualties involving private vehicles were aged one to four years old (43.8 per cent) and five to nine years old (30.2 per cent).

Here’s the round-up of The News Normal today.

DR M SOLDIERS ON WITH PEJUANG

In a critical poem posted on his blog, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has somewhat revealed his new Malay party will be called Pejuang.

The former prime minister says corruption will destroy the race and those who want positions and money should choose other parties. His poems ends with:

“If you want to reclaim your dignity,

If you want our rights to remain

Choose our party,

Choose PEJUANG.”

SNAP POLLS WILL COST RM1.2B

It will cost RM1.2 billion to hold snap polls now.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan said the amount estimated by the Election Commission would be used to ensure standard operating procedures (SOPs) to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The 2018 general election cost RM500 million. However, Takiyiddin said the RM1.2 billion figure will remain even if an election is held after the Covid-19 pandemic ends.

CONTINUE TALKS ON ABOLITION OF UUCA, SAY STUDENT LEADERS

A group of student leaders has urge the Higher Education Ministry to continue discussing with stakeholders the abolition of the Universities and University Colleges Act (UUCA).

Last month, Higher Education Minister Datuk Noraini Ahmad said the government had no immediate plans to abolish the Act as it was still relevant.

Mahasiswa Keadilan Malaysia’s president Irfan Mahsan said the ministry should continue its discussions with academics, student bodies and other groups as the group feels the law should be abolished.

Other student groups which are also making similar calls are Mahasiswa Amanah Nasional, Mahasiswa DAP and the National Union of Malaysian Muslim Students.

M-LEAGUE BEHIND CLOSED DOORS

Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican says there are no new discussions regarding the organising of sports competitions, including the M-League.

“The decision to allow the M-League to be held without spectators still stands. The competition will resume on Aug 26.”

He also reminds the Malaysia Football League to ensure the SOPs by the National Security Council and the Health Ministry are strictly adhered to at stadiums.

WAYS TO TRANSFORM TERENGGANU FOOTBALL

Twentytwo13 contributor Muhammad Yunus Zakariah says many in Terengganu are not able to grasp the complexities of sports marketing and sponsorship sales, adding politicians will just continue to spend state government funds on the state football team.

He instead provides several initiatives to transform Terengganu football.