PETALING JAYA: Motorists may need to be more cautious on the road following recent amendments to the Police Act 1967 (Act 344) during the recent parliamentary sittings.

Under the revised Section 21, police have now been granted legal authority to conduct escort duties, particularly for VIP convoys.

The amendments, which included appointing the Yang di-Pertuan Agong as the Honorary Commissioner-in-Chief of the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM), were among ten proposed amendments that were passed by Parliament on March 22, after being first tabled on March 18.

According to Paul Tan’s Automotive News, the amended Act clearly states under Clause 4 of Section 21 that it is the duty of police officers to carry out escort duties.

Subsection 2 states “any person who obstructs, opposes or disobeys any reasonable direction given by any police officer in the performance of his duties under this section shall be guilty of an offense and liable on conviction.”

This means such offenses during escort operations have been increased whereas offenders can face fines up to RM10,000 and potential jail time up to two years, a substantial jump from the previous RM200 fine and two-month sentence under this subsection.

Other changes include higher penalties under Section 26 for not stopping at police barriers, with maximum fines doubled to RM2,000.

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