PETALING JAYA: Amendments to the Road Transport Act (RTA) to address modified bicycles or “basikal lajak” were only passed in October 2020, nearly three years after Sam Ke Ting’s case.

Therefore, the amendments made to the RTA cannot be applied retrospectively to Sam’s case, said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.

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Since Dr Wee was appointed Transport Minister in March 2020, he had led efforts to amend to RTA to impose heavier penalties against driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol and to curtail the illegal street racing activities of mat lajak and mat rempit.

Dr Wee said it was unfortunate that the law cannot be applied retrospectively.

“I do understand why everyone is so angry but the fact is the case happened in 2017; that is something we cannot change,” said Dr Wee.

He added that people have the right to express their dissatisfaction but even so, they should not blame the wrong parties.

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He said the Road Transport Department (JPJ)’s powers, which fell under the Transport Ministry’s purview, were limited, as enforcement against driving under the influence and mat rempit were all under the jurisdiction of the police.

Dr Wee also said Malaysians must refrain from placing blame on the wrong parties in Sam’s case, even though many disagreed with the High Court’s judgment.

“Some are disappointed with the decision made by the High Court while some are upset that Sam’s lawyer had advised or allowed her to give a statement from the dock as the accused.

“However, any dissatisfaction against the judgment must go through the judicial process to make an appeal,” he said.

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Dr Wee added that any judgment of the law must be respected and must not be interfered with, as he also calls for calm while the appeal continues for Sam.

“Now that Sam’s application to the Court of Appeal for leave to appeal against the High Court’s decision has been granted and will be heard on Monday (April 18), I am sure that we all share the same hope of the best outcome for her,” he said.

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On Wednesday (April 13), Sam was jailed for six years and fined RM6,000 by the High Court over a fatal road accident that resulted in the death of eight teenagers in Jalan Lingkaran Dalam, Johor Baru, at 3.20am on Feb 18, 2017.

Sam’s sentence came after two Magistrate’s Courts had earlier acquitted her on the charge.

She was charged under Section 41(1) of the RTA.

Sam’s appeal will be heard next Monday (April 18) at 9am at the Court of Appeal in Putrajaya.

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