(News snippet – 27 people died but what caused the accident is yet to be confirmed, at least by the right people but already fingers being pointed at the driver and the bus whilst the bodies of the dead Thai tourists being sent home. Image source: http://www.salon.com/)
Snippet 1 – Driver, Bus Blamed
At least, this is what the police are saying BEFORE the official investigation by MIROS is completed.
Police believe that the express bus crash at Km15 of the Cameron Highlands-Simpang Pulai road yesterday in which 27 people were killed, mostly Thai tourists, was due to driver factor and technical problems of the bus.
Perak police deputy chief Datuk Zakaria Yusof who said this, also denied that the accident could have been caused by the road’s oily patches.
And then, after making a rather “jumping the gun” statement, Zakaria Yusof says this to cover his back:-
“However, it is up to the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros), Puspakom and Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board (CVLB) to determine the cause of the accident,” he told a press conference, here, today.
What did he mean by that?
It is up to MIROS (now changed to an independent board) to determine the cause but I am saying that it is due to the bus and the driver? MIROS already mentioned that investigations will take about 2 weeks to complete and yet, Zakaria, did not see the wisdom to wait for the investigations to be completed and jump into his own conclusions based on initial observations.
If this been said by a layman, it would have been understandable (after all, we have seen accidents happened due to reckless drivers and defective buses and why should this be any different) but Zakaria is not a layperson – he is the deputy police chief for the state of Perak and what he says matters. It may even influence the outcome of the official investigations.
Snippet 2 – Separate Indian Channel
Uthayakumar and Hindraf before the last general election were doing just fine – despite having 4 of the main leaders under ISA, Hindraf remained as a pressure group to both BN and PR. Hindraf sided with PR during the last general election and contributed to the tsunami that shook BN upside down.
However, things have changed a lot since then especially when you read things like this:-
THE government needs to have a separate television channel for the Indian community like the Vasantham channel in Singapore
Human Rights Party secretary-general P. Uthayakumar as making the call in reference to Bernama TV decision not to air Tamil news on Friday which left many Indians unhappy and dissatisfied.
He said Indian labourers, especially those who earned about an average of RM600 a month, could not subscribe for Astro to watch Indian programmes as it was too costly.
Should HRP concentrate on getting a separate Indian TV channel that may only provide entertainment or should concentrate on getting those labourers (with average RM600 per month) on ways to improve their life and get them up above the level of poverty and low income? Which is more important for these labourers and their children?
A long time ago, when I visited my uncle who was staying in a FELDA settlement and worked hard in his own plantation, I noticed that they did not have TV (they were not that rich at that time) but that did not stop them from having access to information and entertainment. They had newspaper and radio in place of local TV or satellite TV. They had less time to watch TV but had plenty to watch over their children’s education and work.
At times, what is needed by these lowly paid labourers is not a TV channel for entertainment but rather a way out from the confines of poverty and hardship.
Snippet 3 – MCLM’s 2nd Candidate
If you have been following up Malaysia Today, you know about the “Third Force” and there is some positive development with the Third Force:-
The Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM) has named human rights lawyer Sreekant Pillai as the second person from its movement to contest in the next general election.
Sreekant said he had chosen to be independent because “the current government has nothing more it can offer to the people and the existing parties are not doing what the rakyat wants”.
Sreekant is the son of the late veteran journalist M.G.G. Pillai.
I know Sreekant Pillai personally and I dare say that if there is one candidate that worth our votes in the next general election, he would be the one. Although one would see the Third Force as a potential cause of hung Parliament and question the composition of candidates of MCLM todate (2 candidates and both are lawyers), I think it is pertinent to see what we have now. Quality of politicians that we voted into Parliament in the last election has been todate…shameful.
No doubt the arrogance and reckless mismanagement of the country have toned down after there is a stronger presence of the opposition in the Parliament, these politicians still need to be reminded that at end of the day, it is the interest of the people that matter the most (especially after certain politicians have sold off the voters trust to jump political party).
MCLM may provide that gap and enforcement of getting the right people for the job.