The recent crash of an express bus on the North-South Expressway that took 12 lives was one too many,innumerably, making us looking worse than a third world country.
It defeats the whole idea of having modern infrastructures when you have people deeply entrenched in third-world mentality.
It's happening too often.Malaysia's highway fatalities is a great shame.It reflects a highly indiscipline society and apathetic government.It's a crying shame but who cares?
A clamp down on this deadly menace is much overdue.Drugs,overworked drivers and poor maintenance of vehicles just to maximise profits are the main culprits.
Drug addictions is a serious problem in this country which seems not to get the attention it should from the government.The fight against illicit drugs, if anything to go by, is dismal at most.There is no political will to declare total war on drug and zero tolerance to lessen it damaging effect on society
Our political leaders and honourable ministers just put a blind eye to the widespread use of drug particularly among bumiputera youths.Most drug addicts and loafers in this country are bumiputras.
Drugs, not just rampant among long-haul bus drivers and truck rivers they also prevails among the taxi drivers of Kuala Lumpur.Try engaging some of them with a conversation and you would soon find out they kind of hallucinate.
Accident do happen, but if it happened too often than it is no more mere accidents, it's apathy and gross negligence by the relevant authorities.
Inaction, this is where the government takes the blame.It is the same sad story as the ugly taxi drivers of KL where the government for umpteen years did not care two hoots the bad image they gave the country.
I was in Singapore last week and what a civilised city it was and taxi drivers just as civilised, polite,helpful, knew the city addresses well and spoke excellent English, some better than some of our ministers.
I would not have nice words for the taxi drivers of KL, nor would I have nice words for the bus drivers, bus operators, the relevant government agencies and most of all the minister in charge.The minister should take the utmost blame, he is elected to do a job and he ain't doing it well.This disgraceful mishap could have been avoided if stringent rules and monitoring had been put in place.
Majority of Malaysian motorists are unschooled in behaviour and would break, without any shame whatsoever, every possible rules under the highway codes, from speeding, jumping queue to overtaking on road shoulders.
The strange thing is, in Malaysia, law abiding motorists in the right queue are more than willing to give way to these unschooled bastards.This strange behaviour of allowing road criminals to get away with breaking the laws is one of the reasons for traffic crawl in major cities in this country.Doing disfavour to law and order and allowing lawbreakers to get through is Malaysian motorists version of road courtesy. In the West, you would be considered stupid and would meet the ire of other motorists.
What the government should do is to overhaul and tighten the rules for public transport operators by:
1.Requiring all drivers to take drug and medical test every 3 months.
2.All public carriers to be checked for road worthiness every 3 months.
3.Persons with known criminal convictions ,drug users and alcoholics should not be employed.
4.Stipulate maximum working hours for drivers.
5.All long distance buses must have spare driver.
6.Speed limiter to be installed on all public buses.
7.Operators with frequent crashes and summonses to be suspended from 3 to 6 months.Habitual offenders to lose their licences permanently.
These are simple rules that could be made compulsory, implemented and properly enforced.
Last year I took a bus from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Ming City and was absolutely impressed with the conduct of the bus driver.The six-hour journey was pleasantly uneventful, there was no speeding or dangerous overtaking which are common on Malaysian highways.There was never a tense moment even though the road conditions were not as good as what we have.
Two weeks ago in Phnom Penh while having a drink at the FCC I got into a conversation with an Aussie who came from Perth and we were on the subject of the choatic driving conditions in Cambodia whence we progressed to where I came from. Proudly Malaysian! I say.It was a bit of an embarrassment when Mr Aussie told me that most of the fatal crashes in Western Australia involved Malaysians.
Some years back, I read an accident involving two Kancils and if pigs could fly, there were altogether 14 passengers in the two cars.How the hell can you squeeze seven people into a Kancil.
What is it with Malaysians, they have a death wish the moment they go behind the wheels?