Monday, February 15, 2010

Malaysia's Killing Season.

Hantu Laut

The killing season is here again.Every festive season Malaysians would go on a rampage on the nation's highways killing and maiming themselves and other road users.

The Asia-Pacific region has the highest road fatalities in the world taking 44 percent of the world total where only 16 percent of the total world vehicles are found.Malaysia gets top marks for this shameful state of affair.It has got the highest fatalities per capita in the world.Certainly, not something to be proud of.

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If Malaysians work as aggressively as they drive, this country would have a quantum leap in its economic development and we need not wait until the year 2020 to be a developed nation.Unfortunately, many Malaysians are only aggressive at the wheels but not at the workplace.

It has become part of their daily ritual to break the law whenever the 'mata-mata' is not around. The car instead of being a vehicle of convenience had become a vehicle of death and destruction.

In Kota Kinabalu, about 2 weeks ago, three doctors were killed and one seriously injured when the car they were in slammed into the back of a bus, overturning the bus and killing one passenger.

Speeding, overtaking using road shoulder to beat the queue, overtaking on double line,jumping the red light and other breaches of the law are common occurrences on Malaysian roads.

If stupid is too harsh a word to describe Malaysian motorists sense of road courtesy than stupid it would be.It is common for Malaysians to give way to those that break the law, the queue jumpers.Try queue jumping in the West, you'll swear by your grandmother's grave that you wouldn't do it again.

Another cause of fatalities are overloading, especially in small towns and rural areas.

A while ago, two Kancils collided head on, there were 15 passengers in the two cars.In this recent accident where 4 people were killed, there were 6 passengers in a Proton Wira.How the hell can you accommodate seven people in a Kancil?

It's about time the government enforce strict adherence that vehicle can only carry the maximum number of passengers specified by the manufacturers and makes it illegal to exceed the allowed limit.

Poor maintenance is another death call for Malaysian motorists.Some can afford to buy the car but have not enough money to maintain it thus jeopardising its road worthiness.

Adding to the problem is wrong enforcement by the police.Police mount regular road blocks not to educate motorists on the needs to observe the law and drive safely or check the road worthiness of the vehicles, they are only interested in checking 'road taxes', whether paid or not.

Every festive season the police would also dispatch hundreds of policemen to have their 'Ops this' and 'Ops that', to try reduce fatal road accidents but these "Ops" have turned out to be an exercises in futility.In its current "Ops Sikap" the death toll to date stands at 28 deaths out of 938 accidents.

The source of this tragic situation are no other than the driving schools and JPJ (Road Vehicle Dept).Bad schooling and corruptions.

A complete overhaul of the driving schools in this country and wiping out corruptions within the department responsible for issuing driver's licence are long overdue.Those who failed their tests and pay 'coffee money' through their tutors to get their "KOPI O" licences are the bad drivers and are more likely to be involved in accidents.

Good driving habits start at school, therefore, it would be good idea if the name and permit number of the driving school be registered on the driver's licence to enable the authorities to identify the bad apples.Driving school that produced high accident rate among its students should be struck off.

Related articles(updated):Shock for motorists using emergency lane


SM said...


It's ATTITUDE bro.
The one thing ALL Malaysians have in common (transends race & religion & is truly 1-Malaysia!) is the BAD attitude they have behind the wheel!
There is no way we are ever going to achieve Developed Nation Status with this kind of pathetic attitude.
Haing worked away from KL & Msia for these last few years, I find it very difficult to drive in KL when I'm back for holidays. It's just too stressful (you get used to courteous & rational drivers when you are away for Msia!).

eddy said...

Can't agree with you more Bros. I think there is a serious need to find out how Malaysian men and woman who are so courteous and polite in normal everyday life suddenly become demons when they are on the driver's seat holding the steering wheel. Its not just Malaysian drivers running wild on the highway, I have seen Singaporean drivers who are normally very courteous on the road in Sigapore suddenly turn into road devils the moment they enter Malaysia's highway.Could it be our pleasant air or the great gastronomic food that we eat? One wonders.

Anyway Bro HL on a more serious note I think this is a very good post to be read by the Malaysian road authorithies and your last paragraph on the subject should be considered by the Police and the JPJ. It is a good idea.

Another maybe not so original idea is for traffic offenders accumulating certain KEJARA points not only get his license suspended for a few months but he/she must spend at least some MANDATORY hours of community service as determined by a Magistrate. Maybe some hours of picking and sweeping rubbish around town will do the road offenders a mountain of good.

SM said...

Bro Eddy,

Singaporean drivers are very courteous in Spore because the Laws are very strict there. You also don't see Sporens littering their streets but the moment they are in Msia...wa lah...!
Try bribing a cop in Spore & see where it gets you!
In Msia...RM50 bleh lah...or has it gone up now due to Inflation!

eddy said...

You have a point there Bro SM, actually our laws are very strict, as strict as Singapore but the enforcement is shall we say not so strict.

Corruption is a major problem, because majority of traffic offenders prefer the easy way out and offer the police officer in return for leniency. More often then not, some police officers are taken in by the offer.

In Singapore you would not think about it because you know that the traffic Police officer will immediately cite you for corruption if you even try to have a conversation with him. I know, I am from JB.

Maybe the answer is to also educate the public that corruption is a two way thing. You are actually committing a crime if you offer and give money as well as asking and receiving money. People tend to always blame the policemen but the very people who complained also give money to be let go.

That is why corruption is difficult to stop, unless the giving and receiving cycle stops, corruption will always continue.