Almost to weeks ago malaysiakini reported the tragic death of 20 bus passengers when the driver fell asleep on the wheel and allowed the vehicle to hit a road barrier while on a downhill road. It skidded off the highway, overturned and fell into a ditch.
As if that was not bad enough, we found out that the driver of a bus, 28 year old Rohizan Abu Bakar, had two outstanding arrest warrants for reckless driving, apart from 13 summonses from police. Yet he continued to drive ... his passengers to their deaths, or shall I put it more correctly, that because the responsible party or parties failed to stop him from driving which it/they should, he was thus allowed to kill them.
PM AAB blamed human error and carelessness ... really? ..., and then made the motherhood statement that authorities would carrying out an investigation for possible prosecution of those culpable ... blah blah blah ....
Mr PM, something is wrong with the system when such a driving violator can continue to ferry people around, with their lives in his hands - and he took 20 of them - latest update = 21 of them.
Whose heads should roll?
And who's the owner of the bus company? Let's talk about vicarious responsibility and liability!
Come come, PM, elegant silence or not, let’s not make this another of your magic carpet stuff – no, not talking about Aladdin’s magic carpet, but the one you sweep all dirt under, and made them disappeared, like magic!
And if you think the system's honky dorey, well ... Tan Sri Robert Phang, chairman the Social Action Initiative Foundation, said he would file a report with the Anti-Corruption Agency for alleged malpractices by nine JPJ officers, including deputy director-general Solah Mat Hassan, who was the former enforcement chief.
He claimed that JPJ indulges in favouritism with some buses not checked for roadworthiness.
He averred: “... I do have evidence of malpractice. They have not carried out the minimal standard operating procedures which resulted in buses not meeting the requirement for roadworthiness.”
In another case, regarding another bus involved in yesterday’s early morning crash in Kelantan CVLB chairman Markiman Kobiran, in damage control, said there was no way for the board to know if that bus had been blacklisted by the department and whether to ground it.
Then a check on the JPJ website showed the bus to be on the list of blacklisted vehicles and thus should have been grounded by the CVLB, but apparently not, which was why it had the prang.
If the unnecessary deaths (in Penang) weren’t so tragic, I would have laughed at the headlines in The Star Online today, which shouts out JPJ launches Ops Bersih - it seems, to ‘clean up’ errant bus companies and drivers!
The dear Transport Minister Chan Kong Choy ordered JPJ yesterday to take immediate steps to ensure that no more lives were lost or people injured in accidents involving buses. Then the JPJ director-general claimed that his organisation was serious about the safety of road-users – try telling that to the 21 passengers who died!
... blah blah blah bus drivers should not drive more than eight hours within a 24-hour period ... blah blah blah ... within the four-hour period ...
... bus drivers with outstanding arrest warrants for traffic offences would be arrested on the spot ... bs bs bs ... traffic police will also ... bs bs bs ... on suspended driving licences and outstanding arrest warrants ...
‘Tis a case of closing the stable doors after the horse has bolted!
But I believe it's worse that that - it's just sandiwara, or play acting until the horrors of the tragedy fade away in our short lived memory, before it's back to 'biz-ness' again!
But the evil of such criminal busing negligence may be only the tip of an iceberg!