In contrast to the requirements for cars in Singapore which is that 70% of light must pass through the front windscreen and two front side windows and 25% for rear windows, in Malaysia, the Road Transport Department (RTD) is now allowing private car owners to tint their rear and passenger windows as dark as they want to beginning Wednesday (May 8).
According to Transport Minister Anthony Loke, zero visible light transmission (VLT) for the rear and passenger windows was granted following drivers’ requests for darker windows to protect them from the heat.
This is a welcome development for many as a way to beat the heat, however, others are afraid that the incidents of kidnapping and robbery will rise and the safety of drivers will be compromised.
Tinted windows: Facilitate or prevent crime?
Can tinted windows prevent people from seeing what’s in the backseat or who’s sitting in the front seat? Will it prevent police officers from catching a thief because he is seated and well-concealed behind heavily-darkened windows? There are conflicting views on this.
However Kuala Lumpur Traffic Investigation and Enforcement Department chief Asst Comm Zulkefly Yahya welcomed the decision.
“Thieves will not be able to easily spot items on the back seat and may think twice before breaking into vehicles,” he said in an interview with media.
On the other hand, Zulkefy’s Selangor counterpart, Supt Azman Shari’at also warned that darkened windows would allow criminals to “hide in the back seat in an attempt to be elusive.”
Anxious netizens cry foul
A number of netizens however have vented their concerns on social media.
Many said that allowing fully tinted rear windows could put drivers’ lives in jeopardy. One comment said that drivers following cars with heavily tinted windshields would not be able to see other vehicles ahead of the tinted car. Another one said that those driving at night would find it difficult to estimate the distance between cars with heavily tinted rear windows.
One LM Lee said, “Totally don’t agree! Please study again! Cars following behind heavily tinted rear windshields will not be able to see the vehicles in front of the tinted car.”
Kieran Lim said, “Stupid! Kidnapping n robbery cases will happen even easier.” In agreement was Kannan Selvam who said, “Lot of kidnapping case will take place….very bad decisions.” (sic) -/TISG