KUALA LUMPUR: Strict enforcement has to be put in place to prevent the tragedy that killed teen cyclists on the road in Johor Baru from happening again, said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.
He said the misuse of roads by cyclists should not have happened.
"I am very sad over the incident. The teenagers should not be cycling there, what more in the middle of the night.
"I have directed the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros) to work closely with the police to investigate this serious accident," Liow, who is MCA president, said at the Wanita MCA Chinese New Year dinner here.
Six teen cyclists died on the spot and two died on the way to the hospital after a car rammed into them in Johor Baru at around 3.30am yesterday. Another two youngsters were in critical condition while six others suffered non-life threatening injuries.
On cycling enthusiasts who resorted to using motorcycle lanes in the city, Liow said Miros was studying whether cyclists and motorcyclists could share the same lane.
On yesterday's Himpunan 355 rally, Liow reiterated that the MCA is opposed to the proposed amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 brought up by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang because it is against the Constitution.
He said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom's presence at the rally only represented his own stance and not the Barisan Nasional's.
Earlier, Liow attended the Chinese New Year and first anniversary dinner of Persatuan Usahawan China di Malaysia (China Entrepreneurs in Malaysia Association, or PUCM) at the Petronas Club in KLCC Twin Tower.
Raja Muda Perlis Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra Ibni Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Jamalullail, the royal guest, encouraged the businessmen from China to organise impactful social activities in Malaysia.
He invited PUCM members to Perlis to join him on a cycling trip into the villages to see the beauty of the state and present contributions to the needy, besides exploring investment opportunities there.
Earlier, at another function, Liow noted that the country's economic growth - at 4.5 per cent in the last quarter of 2016 - was on the right track, contrary to the negative perception often portrayed on social media.
"When compared to the world's average growth at 3.1 per cent last year, our country is actually doing quite well and enjoying better growth than Singapore and other ASEAN countries," he said at the SK (Felda) Chemomoi annual general meeting.