Drivers say they respect the traffic laws but would appreciate a friendlier approach from enforcement officers
SEREMBAN: At least one government department has found out that a little public relations work can go a long way in preventing a minor issue from getting blown out of proportion.
The Negeri Sembilan Road Transport Department (RTD) had a dialogue with lorry drivers yesterday and apparently managed to convince them that they were not being unfairly targeted by overzealous enforcement officers.
Last week, scores of angry drivers demonstrated outside the RTD office in Senawang, saying they could no longer stomach what they regarded as constant harassment and unnecessary summonses.
They even had some support from the Senawang state assemblyman, DAP’s P Gunasekaran, who called on enforcement officers to restrain themselves from unnecessary fault-finding and to temper justice with sympathy.
Following yesterday’s dialogue, a driver claiming to speak for his colleagues said he felt better after hearing out State RTD Director Saiful Azzri Hamzah and other top-ranking officers who participated in the session.
“We respect the law and will follow the rules,” said I P Sivapragasam, “but we request RTD to take a friendlier approach towards us.”
Gunasekaran was also at the dialogue, along with Paroi assemblyman Mohd Taufek Abdul Ghani of PAS, Port Dickson assemblyman M Ravi of PKR and Negeri Sembilan Deputy PAS Commissioner Anuar Azhari.
Gunasekaran said the session was beneficial for everyone, but especially for the RTD chief because he received direct feedback from the lorry drivers about his officers’ work.
During the dialogue, Saiful Azzri said his department’s main concern was the safety of pedestrians and other road users.
Responding to a complaint that some enforcement officers in plain clothes did not bother to show their identification cards, Saiful Azzri said the drivers could always insist that they produce the cards.
He also urged drivers’ associations to organise courses on traffic regulations for the benefit of their members.