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Another push to make the use of child car seats compulsory before its proposed implementation in 2019 has been made, The Sun reports.

The call to push for an earlier implementation was made by women, family and community development minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim, following the tragic death of a two-year-old boy who was killed in Ulu Tiram, Johor, on Saturday. The boy, who was unsecured, fell out of his father’s car and was run over by another vehicle.

She said she will be meeting representatives from the Transport Ministry and relevant stakeholders on the matter in a bid to push for an earlier start. “Prior to implementing anything new, we at the ministry will always give the public a certain period of time to get used to it so that they would not be caught off guard. However, issues like child car seats and rear seat belts should not be delayed as it concerns safety,” she told reporters.

Last year, it was reported that the government will only make the use of child safety seats – or child restraint systems – compulsory by 2019. Initially, there was talk that the mandatory use of such devices was supposed to come into effect in 2017, but the government decided on a four-year timeline for its deployment, citing cost, economy and public awareness issues.

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The relatively high prices of child seats was said to have contributed to the government’s decision into the matter, as it wanted to avoid socio-economic repercussions, especially among low-income earners and the “less fortunate.”

In September, the transport ministry said it was asking the government to exempt child car seats from being taxed with import duties and GST as part of its Budget 2017 wishlist. No exemptions came about.

Currently, child car seats are categorised as a car accessory and imposed with an import tax duty of up to 30% as well as GST. However, if a child car seat is sourced from China, there will be no import tax duty on it because of the ASEAN–China Free Trade Area (ACFTA) agreement. Nonetheless, proper ECE R44-certified child seats can be had for as low as RM400.

We have stressed before on the paramount importance of using child seats in cars, what with fatalities occuring when childen are not secured properly in vehicles. If you love your kids, don’t just hold them, but seat or buckle them up.