DAP’s Bandar Kuching Member of Parliament Dr Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen said today that he was receiving death threats from a “coordinated group of netizens” after he posted a statement objecting to PAS’ call to ban alcohol on Facebook.
“As of now, there are over 900 comments of all sorts on my statement. I don’t know who these people are who issued the death threats,” Yii told Malay Mail.
He said he posted his press statement on his Facebook yesterday, attracting all sorts of comments from Facebook users, who not only issued death threats but also used racist and vulgar words directed at him and his family.
Yii lodged a police report over the threats at the Padungan station this morning, saying that it is for his personal safety and that of his family, hoping that the authorities will take this issue seriously.
“While I welcome differences in opinion and even differences in political affiliation, but I strongly condemn such racist, vulgarity and divisive sentiments, including death threats, towards my own personal safety and even the safety of my family,” he said after lodging the report.
He said he believed that drunk driving is an important issue that needs to be seriously addressed, adding that it is not a racial issue as both the perpetrators and even the victim can be of any race or religion.
“The issue is complex and real long-term solutions through a combination of proper education, incentives, social messaging, engagement and of course heavier punishments.
“Such solutions should take different holistic approach without infringing or taking away the rights of others especially in a plural and multicultural country like Malaysia,” he said.
Yii said he stands and defends the country’s multiculturalism especially in Sarawak and its secular nature as enshrined under the Malaysian Constitution and protected under the Malaysia Agreement 1963.
He said Malaysia is a multicultural and pluralistic country and we should not allow hate and such extremism to take root and undermine the unity and harmony in our country. Such actions should not be condoned by any party.
Yii, in his statement expressing objection to PAS’ suggestion yesterday, had called on the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government to amend the Road Transport Act (RTA) so to increase the penalties for drunk driving offences.
He recalled that the former transport minister Anthony Loke wanted to table an amendment Bill that sought to increase the maximum penalty to RM100,000 and a jail term of 20 years for dangerous driving under the influence of alcohol.
He felt that dangerous driving under the influence of alcohol, or any other type of substance, ought to be strengthened and greater empowerment given for enforcement purposes, but banning it outright was not a comprehensive approach to the matter.
“It is missing the forest from the trees or administering the wrong treatment for the disease.
“Greater emphasis ought to be given towards educating the public on the dangers of drunk driving and alcohol abuse in general to avoid more incidents of alcohol-related accidents on the road.
“All this can be done without infringing the rights of others. This issue must be dealt with holistically and should be tainted through any divisive racial or even religious sentiments,” Yii said in his statement.
On May 26, PAS information chief Kamaruzaman Mohamad had called on the PN government to immediately suspend all production, businesses, and sales of alcoholic beverages so as new measures could be taken to prevent drunk driving.
He had said PAS viewed seriously the fatal accident cases involving drunk drivers that had become so rampant lately. – MMO