Thursday, July 27, 2006

Kelantan's Bridges of Death

Look at our marvellous country – half billion ringgit sports academy in Mother England; couple of billions for a 'vanished' scenic bridge; another 1.5 million for a jolly trek in the Himalayas, etc; but poor school kids dice with death each school day as they are forced to use a makeshift bridge.

In Pasir Mas, to get to school near Kampung Lati is virtually a life-and-death struggle for the school children. They have to cross the Banggol Jering river by treading precariously on floating plywood boards strapped together over bundles of bamboo. This has served as the pupils’ makeshift bridge for the past six years.

Student Sharidan said: "We have to be very careful so that we do not rock the boards. Sometimes the (river’s) rapid current makes it very dangerous."

The school is 200 metres from the river. Two years ago, an eight-year-old pupil drowned after losing his balance on the wobbly boards.

Another 12-year old student, Nor Aimuni Shafikah Che Awang said she would always pray before crossing the 'bridge' although she had been using it for five years.

The following is an extract of what I posted early this year in There are bridges and there are bridges:

In Pengkalan Pasir village near Kota Baru, Kelantan, its villagers cross a canal by means of a rotting wooden bridge, that had and injured a couple of people and killed even more, including the last two in 2005, 5-year old Noralili Mohd Yusof and 65-year old Khatijah Rahmatullah.

I blogged on that in February 2005 over at BolehTalk in
The Bridge of Death.

The villages had actually raised notice of the decrepit and dangerous state of the bridge to the authorities, but as usual in such a rural village, especially in PAS-controlled Kelantan, nothing was done. In such a situation where a non Barisan Nasional Party governed the State, there would be the perpetual argument over who the responsible authority had been, the State or the Federal government, but the people who were either injured or killed were all Malaysians.

One wonders how many such rural bridges and how many pot-holed tracks in the kampongs (villages) could have been repaired and how many personal computers purchased for use in the kampong schools with the RM2 billion the government has allocated to the construction of a ‘scenic’ bridge to nowhere!

I am sick of seeing poor Kelantan kids being subjected to sub-3rd world conditions in their daily lives.

1 comment:

  1. if Pas cannot do a simple bridge repair work for the kampung can we expect it to rule the country efficiently?…