Genting Bus Tragedy; more to occur
Malaysia’s inspection and enforcement agencies and departments have been sitting on their butts for far too long and the ministers in charge of these departments are just as hopeless. How many times have we had the kind of accident like the one on the afternoon of 21st August 2013?
What are those responsible doing to prevent such accidents to happen again? What action plan and improvement have they done or even announced to the public?
Fake, sub-standard automotive spare parts are available easily yet they are not cheap either. The Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (MDTCA) is not being proactive either by not preventing these dangerous items from being used in repairs and replacements. This ministry is so hopeless that they are only interested in monitoring the prices of chicken during festive seasons but still they failed to curb the increase in chicken price!
Even simple things like standardizing of the number plates could not be done
The Road and Transport Department has insisted that the plate numbers for the vehicles in Malaysia must conform to a certain standards. While our neighbours Thailand and Singapore have got really standardized number plates, Malaysians are free to break the law pertaining to these plates. The best that the PDRM and RTD had done was to fine the owners of the vehicles using unapproved plates.
Why on earth is it so difficult to just ban the sale of the unapproved ones, which is the prerogative of the MDTCA? See, there is no cooperation amongst all the ministries as their ministers are politicians who are more interested in staying in power and making money and vice-versa.
PUSPAKOM has been entrusted to inspect all the vehicles and they are being paid for doing that. Yet cases where vehicles could get the clean bill of health without even being inspected are open secrets and the MACC has not done much to investigate the issue either.
The useless SPAD has recently approved a money-collecting centre at KLIA2 whereby the taxi operators have to unnecessarily pay RM2 to the private counter for every coupon they received from the passengers. Surely someone will get rich by the day practically doing nothing but just have a small counter and engage somebody to collect the money!
How many times have it been reported that many drivers are incompetent foreigners or are on drugs and sleeping on the job? The illegal bus operators are still providing the illegal service yet, when these buses are so big and numerous, why is it impossible for the authorities to take action against the owners and operators? Come to think of it, how many people have been sent to jail for operating illegal bus services to date? Practically none!
One can just go to any major bus terminal and surely will be approached by the touts from illegal network offering tickets so openly. Yet the RTD is not able to catch the culprit! The PDRM personnel when approached to voice your complaint will slyly tell you that it is not the PDRM jurisdiction, it is under the RTD!
Complacency is not isolated to the land transport only
These wrong doings are not restricted to the land transport departments. The marine department has not been doing its job too, such that a major off shore disaster is already in the making and the question is when it will occur and when it does the boat incident in the Rejang River in Sarawak in May this year is very minor.
There are numerous boat accidents in Malaysia yet when not reported in the news, the authorities are more than happy to keep quiet about them.
Where there is some sort of inspection carried out by the Marine Department on large vessels, the smaller ones, like tug boats, barges, fishing boats, passenger boats, are not being inspected and monitored properly. Safety vests are only mandatory on paper and the Marine Department has never been serious on safety.
Modifications done on these vessels are not even inspected, yet they can get documents showing that everything is in order.
There are cases where barges used for carrying goods, are being converted to carry people and workers complete with living quarters without having to go through any Marine Department inspection and they are many of them at the various ports in Malaysia.
What about our air transport?
We are only fortunate that Malaysia is affiliated to the International Civil Aviation Organisation that dictates all the requirements, plus the maintenance, repair and refurbishment of the aircrafts are being overseen by the representatives of the manufacturers themselves, we are comparatively safe but if left to our ministers and government departments, air-crash in Malaysia would be as common as buses crashing while going downhill.
See, spending RM2 billion and hitchhiking to the International Space Station has not improved a iota in the performance of the government department, especially the Transport Ministry.
The government departments are corrupt to the core
The above explains how pathetic our enforcement agencies and ministries are. They are not interested in catering for the welfare of the consumers and the public. The Road Transport Department for example is more interested in partaking in money-making schemes, just like PUSPAKOM, making money out of inspecting vehicles which are not on site; the RTD has the AES to be ashamed of. But since the MACC, PDRM and the AG are all hopeless, coupled with the kind of prime minister we have, how on earth can things in Malaysia change for the better?