Friday, March 30, 2007

Stop Sending Singaporean Drivers To Jail

Police summonses and the prospect of jail for drivers of Singapore cars with tinted glass will not encourage Singaporeans to visit Malaysia.

Malaysian High Commissioner to Singapore Datuk N. Paramaswaran said that Malaysia should not take unilateral action on tinted glass as the regulations in both countries were not the same.

“Singapore cars will forever be wrong in Malaysia while we likewise will be forever wrong in Singapore.

“Our enforcement agencies must ensure that our borders are secure but at the same time friendly. We should not give Singaporeans the impression that we are waiting to catch them (Singaporeans) as soon as they cross the border,” he told The Star.

He was commenting on widespread news coverage and letters in the Singapore media over the past few days relating to cars with tinted glass.

On March 11, a Singaporean sub-contractor, worried about car jacking, refused to let police impound his car for further checks over window tinting in Johor Baru. He was subsequently charged in court with obstructing justice and jailed a day.

In February, a Singaporean logistics manager was issued a summons in Malacca for driving in a car that had dark windows.

“I have written to the relevant agencies in Malaysian informing them about these problems, as such action can hurt tourism and even investment in the Iskandar Development Region (IDR),” Parameswaran said.

He suggested that attempts be made to standardise the laws through discussions with Singapore and also with other countries, which have land borders with Malaysia.

“Until such time, we should avoid taking unilateral action. It may only trigger Singapore to act likewise against Malaysian tinted cars.

“Therefore, there is a need for some flexibility,” he said, adding that in his personal view, Malaysian enforcement agencies should not issue summonses to Singaporean cars, which conform to the island republic’s laws.

Citing an example of flexibility, Param said that Singapore allowed Proton Perdana V6 cars to ply its roads though they did not conform to its strict regulations on smoke emissions.

Johor police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Hussin Ismail said he would leave it to senior officials from Kuala Lumpur to decide on the matter.

On the latest incident in Johor Baru, he said: “My men were merely following the regulations and carrying out their duties.”

Source : STAR
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