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Call to ban underaged youth from late night loitering in city

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JOHOR BAHRU: The Home Ministry (KDN) wants state governments to ban underaged youths from loitering around city areas, roads and certain locations late at night.

Its deputy minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed said the ban was necessary to tackle more untoward incidents from occurring such as the cycling tragedy at Jalan Lingkaran Dalam here yesterday.

“The curfew should be imposed by state governments so that owners of sites, locations or premises do not allow underaged youths from coming to these places late at night,” he said, giving as an example the Johor City Council, which he said was responsible for the Johor Bahru City Square.

Nur Jazlan, who is also Pulai MP, said this to reporters after attending the constituency’s Chinese New Year celebration here today.

He was commenting on the tragedy in which eight teenagers were killed and eight others injured when they were mowed down by a car at 3am yesterday.

According to Nur Jazlan, the proposal was being made because the police had limited power in supervising underaged youths and suffered from a shortage of manpower.

He said the proposal need not apply to all states as not all experienced the problem of underaged youths who went out until late at night.

“Many cases of underaged youths going out late at night are in Johor and the Klang Valley. The problem began several years ago and I have urged police to take action.

“The problem is the children are underaged and the police cannot take harsh action against them. So, I make this suggestion to the state governments and KDN is willing to work with the quarters concerned to implement it,” he said.

He said in some cases parents scolded the authorities for accusing their children of wandering around at night when the onus of supervising children was on the parents.

“Through the proposal to the state governments, I am not asking that underaged children be put under curfew but they should not be allowed to wander around in the city and certain locations specifically roads because there are many threats including crimes.

“The best way is for the state governments not to allow underaged youths to wander around at night. So, there must be a directive from the state governments so that integrated action, for example, from local authorities and those having jurisdiction over roads, can be exerted to help police supervise the children,” he said.

Nur Jazlan also urged all quarters not to harp on the incident in the name of racial harmony.

He said police investigations, to date, had confirmed that the woman who drove the Nissan Almera was not speeding, not using a handphone while driving and was not drunk.

“The road (Jalan Lingkaran Dalam) is a bit winding and hilly. This is my area (Pulai Parliament), I am aware of the route’s condition,” he added.

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