Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Pothole Dangers

On November 07, 2020, a tragedy unfolded when a corporal with the Royal Malaysian Air Force who was travelling to work on a rainy morning hit a pothole filled with water as he could not see it. 

The 28-year-old Mohd Husaini Mohd Nasir lost control of his motorcycle and fell off his machine before being run over by a lorry. Unfortunately, the airman died at the scene from major head injuries. Police said then that the accident was being investigated for causing death by driving recklessly. 

JKR (Public Works Department) were silent, so were DBKL (Kuala Lumpur City Hall). No one was outraged nor did anyone apologize for the death which could have been avoided if the authorities had acted promptly to patch the pothole. 

Fast forward to December 27, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin was riding his racing bicycle along Jalan Kampung Sri Cheeding in Banting, Selangor. He hit a pothole, fell off the bicycle and suffered injuries as a result. 

In a Twitter post following the incident, Khairy said: “Pothole, ditch, KJ. 2020 keeps giving”. 

The 03:23 PM post showed photographs of the hollow on a road surface and a bicycle at a nearby watercourse. 

He also shared a picture of his contusions which showed bruises on his left forehead, nose and mouth. 

At 08:42 PM, Khairy’s guardian angel magically appeared on Twitter – in the form of the Kuala Langat JKR – and which then apologized for the incident! Even better, they went out of their way to patch up the offending pothole! [Note: Banting falls under the jurisdiction of the Kuala Langat district]. 

However, the episode was greeted with anger by netizens, many who scorned JKR’s supposed inaction even when potholes have caused fatal accidents and serious injuries. Many stories are being shared on social media. It's simply a case of double standards. 

One Twitter user with the handle @theahmadridhuan urged JKR to apologize to the people as well. 

“Because it was KJ, you apologized profusely. If that is the case, we need more ministers, MPs and assemblypersons to become victims of bad roads so actions will be taken swiftly to repair them”, he said. 

“My father had an accident after hitting a pothole while riding a motorcycle and had broken three ribs because of that hole. Those idiots still haven’t repair that tarred road. This person fell off a bicycle and JKR scrambled to cover the road”, Twitter user @sarahisthatyouu said. 

Another netizen retorted: “You have just validly proven that it takes a VIP to suffer for the government to take fast, efficient action. 

“This apology is not necessary. Why apologize if you’ve never apologized before? Is his life more valuable than ordinary people?” asked Twitter user @SyuhadaShud. 

Must Malaysians wish more VIPs will hit potholes and fall off their machines – just so, our roads can be made better and safer?

No comments: