Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Ops Sikap has ended. More than 200 motorists and road users died. Why this has to happen?

In their eagerness to go back to their kampungs to celebrate Hari Raya, they, for reasons known only to them, are willing to lose their hard-earned properties and lives just to arrive home as quick as possible.

Break as many traffic laws as possible, never mind, as long as they make it to their villages.

They will go on driving, even when their eyes and body tell them that they are sleepy and tired.

They will go on speeding even when it is raining and the road is slippery.

They will chase after a car when the passing car misbehaves slightly...more so when the passing car is of smaller power dimension than theirs.

They often drive in anger, knowing well that anger makes them lose consideration and wisdom.

What is wrong with us Malaysians when we are on the road?

We're still as a whole very polite on the street (are we still?), but as soon as we seat ourselves behind the steering wheel, invisble horns start to grow up on our heads.

We become hyperirritable and among few, almost stanic with other road users. A very slight misdemeanour, well things like cutting queues, slight honking, disrespectful overtaking, a bit slower driving, etc etc will transform many of us into road bullies or devils to be more exact!

When death figures go up we blame the police, the JPJ...we always blame others for whatever happens...the bangau or bangau (crane and frog story) syndrome...

Annually, roughly 6000 lives are lost through road accidents, almost equalling the number of deaths due to heart problems.

Eerie, isn't it?

Motorists, when they are on the road, behave as if they are driving a tank, indestructible and immortal. They swerve in and out of the traffic with little regards of their fragility. A slight knock against any part of their motorcycle will send them hurtling into the air.

I have seen a big bike breaking its front wheel as it over-manouvering a sharp bend and sending the rugged-looking biker flying metres into the air and landed heavily on the road reserve, breaking his neck in the process.

Besides speed, driving too slow on the right lane, as if they are on their honeymoon, is another big reason for accident to happen.

These drivers drive as if they were the only drivers on the road. Never for once they look into their rear mirror to see a long queue is following their cars.

They make blood boils in many who had to follow behind. Whenever there is just a slight chance, they then overtake, at a horrendous speed and taking unnecessary risk most of the time.

Not all such drivers own a BMW or a Merc or other fast moving cars. You know what will happen next.

I'm not sure for how long more we Malaysians will be involved in our festivities transmigration, rush home things. The extra-long holidays are highly correlated with the high road accident statistics.

Are these rush home things really necessary any more in this trying times?

Scenarios are already showing where people celebrate their festivals in their home. They do not move much.

This is true when the first generations are no more with us...when the call of balik kampung will become less and less, especially among the third generation members...

It has never been my intention to encourage Malaysians to forget or neglect our parents...we can easily do so by much less risky ways...we can visit them more regularly at some other times, rather than concentrating on these busy festival holidays.

The present ICT will also alleviate our longings for our parents back home...

Have more video conferences among family members, rather than involving ourselves in computer games and other what-nots that people do nowadays...

A simple hello over the hp or an sms of beautiful words to parents should take over sms after sms between boy and girl friends...

Enough is enough...let us all strive for death-free festivals in the years to come...

We ourselves have to do something about it, not the police, the government or the JP officers...



Martin Lee said...

We were young once before like them! Sudirman said it all:

Perjalanan jauh ku tak rasa
Kerana hati ku melonjak sama
Ingin berjumpa sanak saudara
Yang selalu bermain di mata

Balik Kampung! Hati girang!

It is hard to describe the eagerness and the fondness of the home coming experience, even for myself during the Chinese New Year.

Perhaps when they grow older, they would know how to drive or ride safely and also to realize that being able to arrive home safely is the greatest happiness and joy for their parents and love ones!

azahar said...

I know the exact feeling...we had been travelling balik kampung for so many a times as my Amalia said: "We don't go balik kampung anymore..."

We're in our kampung for good...

I remember once (forgotten the year) we had to endure the worst traffic jam ever recorded in Malaysia. Imagine the drive from Sg Siput (U) to Kemaman took us 12 long hours!