2016 – Crashing Out before Going into 2017

2016

(Close your eyes and think for a second – are we doing the right things? Are we saying the right things? Are we putting ourselves in others shoes? Image source: http://www.coolnsmart.com)

The year 2016 came to a close with a bang – an accident!!

Couple of days before the end of 2016, on my last working day for the year, I got up as usual at about 6.45 am (because of school holidays) and at about 7.30 am, I left the house with a relaxed mind. The roads were clear and I was looking forward on the long holidays for the new year and thereafter. My son had orientation day on the last day of the year and I was looking forward to that as well.

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Ending The Year 2014 On A Positive Note!

2014 najib golf

(Not everyone can be the PM – very, very hard at “work” overseas in 2014. Some had said that there is nothing wrong for a leader to take a break. Well, that is correct but not when the country is seeing one of the worst floods around. The big mamma still on holiday, its so seems – no one had seen her wading through the high water in downtown Kota Bahru. Image source)

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Trip to Oriental Paris – Part 1

(Part 1 of many parts, I hope)

(The flight was full but I was looking forward to the trip with a good selection of on-demand movies to kill the time. MAS’ inflight service and food was tip-top as usual, something that holds an edge over other airlines)

It literally started with a BANG!

Another overseas trip and I was kind of “ok” of missing Deepavali again. I was packing my luggage and somehow realized that I did not pack my toothpaste (ya, of all things!). I checked my drawer and realized that we have run out “travel sized” toothpaste. The fact that I will be staying in a 4 star hotel where they provide complimentary tooth paste on daily basis or I can always buy one at the nearest convenience store did not occur to me. I looked at my watch – there was 4 hours to kill before I need to head to the airport.

So, I decided to go and buy myself toothpaste and just as I was leaving the house, my son ran up and wanted to follow me (I guess he is already missing me). So there we were after buying that all important toothpaste, in the car chatting and listening to good music when we neared a junction. There was an old beat up Wira at the front. I waited for the car to exit the junction and somehow I kept looking towards my right. I saw there was a gap in the traffic and decided that the car at the front had exited and foolishly pressed on the accelerator. BIG MISTAKE! The bugger did not move at all and all I heard was a loud bang.

Damn! My first accident on my new car and it was due to a simple silly mistake (or rather toothpaste). I came out after telling my son to sit still in the car. First thing I looked at was the other car’s bumper (I was dreadful to see the damage on my car). The damage was not that bad and being a Wira, the bumper clip had come out and I knew that it could be easily fixed. The driver came out – an old man and he looked at the bumper and started to exaggerate the damage – he said the whole bumper had gone under his car but I was not buying it (I admit that it was my fault and I was willing to pay for the damage but not to the extend that I was willing to be taken for a “ride”)

Then I turn to look at damage on my car and I got a shock. Not a scratch at all. At bit of the bumper plastic came out of place but I managed to fix that in back (I later realized that 2 bumper clips had came out as well but it was not that obvious). We exchanged some details but surprisingly the other driver did not take down the most important details of all – my phone number.

As I am rushing for the airport now, I decided to take him to the nearest workshop which I knew. I went over and had a “friendly” chat with the workshop owner and discussed the cost to repair the damage – the whole thing was settled for RM60. I paid the owner the money and told the driver that he will get his “already damaged before this accident” bumper fixed. Then I rushed back to the house, threw the bloody toothpaste into the luggage and went down to put the bag into the car. I double checked my car for any more damage but nothing bad was visible from the front. I need to check this again when I take my car for the next service. But it was painful indeed, very painful.

Made it to the airport in good time and met up with a colleague of mine who was traveling with me. Body wise, I was at the airport but my mind was elsewhere – wondering if I could have turn back the time and avoided the accident. But you know what the most painful part of the whole journey was – I never used the toothpaste that I bought in Malaysia. It was not a good start that I hoped for but for now, I was looking forward to the 5 ½ hours journey and almost a month long stay in Shanghai – the Oriental Paris.

To be continued…

Investigating 28 Deaths

Sometimes it simply does not make any sense – perhaps it was not meant to be so.

(It has to be one of the worst bus accident in the country and made worse by the fact that most who died are foreign tourists. Image source: http://huanqiu.com)

Early this year, the Coroner’s Court investigating the death of Teoh Beng Hock returned an open verdict. There was outcry on this decision from the general public and politicians from both side of the divide. The Cabinet despite earlier not agreeing on a Royal Commission is looking into setting up a Royal Commission but whether a RC would finally find the cause of Teoh Beng Hock is yet to be determined.

How we want to investigate the death of one person in proper when we are screwing up the investigations of the death 28 people?

Read this first:-

Universiti Putra Malaysia vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Radin Umar Radin Sohadi will head an independent inquiry board investigating the high-decked bus crash in Cameron Highlands on Dec 20 last year which left 28 passengers dead. In a statement yesterday, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha said the Cabinet had agreed on the appointment of Prof Radin, who has a PhD in traffic safety engineering and a Master’s in transport and traffic engineering (Source)

It’s great to know that we are getting the best to head the investigations – certainly the next of kin of the 28 who died in the tragedy has every right to know exactly what had happened. And by getting the right people to head the investigating team means no stones would be left unturned in discovering the cause.

Was the tragedy due to malfunction of the bus brakes, illegal modifications of bus structure, recklessness of the driver or the condition of the road itself? Perhaps the independent inquiry board would also come up with the right recommendations and suggestions – not that we have not heard recommendations and suggestions after major incidents. One thing for sure, the independent inquiry board investigation is going to take considerable time, money and resources.

But hold on to your horses there! What about this piece of reporting?

An accident involving a high-decked bus that crashed on its way down from Cameron Highlands last month is due to human error and not caused by an oil spill on the road as speculated earlier. State Infrastructure Committee chairman Datuk Ramly Zahari said police investigations showed human error was the reason for the crash which killed 28 people. He said although the accident was caused by human error, the state government would improve the physical condition of the road at the accident site. (Source)

In case you missed it, let me highlight what I think is the deep screw to the investigations proper – “human error was the reason for the crash which killed 28 people”.

This means one of two things:-

1. If the police already investigated and already found the cause of the accident – that it is due to human error (and not the road condition), then why we are wasting time appointing an independent inquiry board? Don’t you think it is kind of redundant? Assuming we go ahead and appoint the independent inquiry board and they end up coming to the same conclusion, so why appoint them anyway in the first place?

2. If the independent inquiry board is the rightful entity appointed by the Government to get to the cause of the accident, is the State and the police is jumping the gun with their analysis? What if the outcome of the independent inquiry board turns out to be something else? Then we will end up having 2 entities with 2 different conclusions for the same accident – that would be interesting. Shouldn’t the State and the police submit their findings to the independent inquiry board once they have started their investigations and let them decide on the final conclusion as to what caused the tragedy?

The concern is that if we can’t even agree on who is going to formally investigate a tragedy that took the life of 28 innocent people in seconds, wonder how we are going to investigate the death of one man proper? Would it be a case of too many cook spoils the soup?

Stopping Stupid Pesky Motorcyclists From Our Roads Part 1

motorcyclists

(I hate to see the “kid” in between the parents! I start cursing when I see a baby in between them. You think the kid will be well protected when a car hits them at 100 km/h? Poverty is one thing but stupidity is another. Image source: TV Smith’s Malaysia Truly Malaysia)

Ha, almost killed an old man on a bike this morning…

But it is not the first time that I almost killed someone on the road – on daily basis, I had to content with pesky motorcyclists who don’t give a damn when changing lanes without any indicators or without considering the traffic on the other side of the lane and who think that they are the king of the road when driving on the other side of the lane and who turn violent when we horn them to warn them and ride bikes at night without lights.

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WTF!

I saw the traffic jam as I headed back to KL from the South but I did not know it was due to this:-

(The victim’s BMW – 3 people died on the spot. Pix Source: TheSun)

(The offender’s Renault – what he was doing driving against the traffic? Pix Source: TheSun)

Before that, the Dane was involved in another minor accident when his car collided with a Proton Waja. For reasons best known to him, he made an illegal U-turn and drove against the flow of traffic for several kilometres before colliding head on with the BMW,

(Source)

Driving against the traffic is not limited to some foreigners (who may not be familiar driving on the left side of the road) but also to some stubborn Malaysians who hop on the right side of the road when making selfish queue jumping.

No one in the right mind would be driving against the traffic on a 110 km/h highway at 4.30 am! It could have been a mistake but still, it is a tragic!

Good Question!

(Hardly looked like a composed PhD student – Image source: TheStar)

TheStar says:-

Hamood Sheehab Hamid, 45, was charged with committing the offence driving in a reckless and dangerous manner, under section 41 (1) of the Road Transport Act 1987, at the traffic light exit to USM, at Jalan Transkrian about 9.45am.

However, no plea was recorded because Hamood could neither understand English nor Malay.

Pakatan Rakyat’s Lim Kit Siang asked:-

Can you believe it? A PhD student in Universiti Sains Malaysia who cannot understand English or Malay! What medium of instruction is the student using in USM?

USM website states:-

Degree programmes are taught in the national language Bahasa Malaysia or the Malay language and English.

The medium of instruction is Bahasa Malaysia. International students who do not have the knowledge of the language will have to demonstrate a level of proficiency in the language as part of the entrance selection criteria.

Prospective candidates who are not sufficiently proficient in the language ill be required to undergo a preparatory programme of six months duration (one semester) prior to admissions into the degree course. This course is offered four times a year (one semester) prior to admissions into the degree course. This course is offered four times a year.

The question is how did the Hamood pass through the initial selection?

It will be interesting to see how USM response to this especially the course that Hamood Sheehab Hamid was taking is in electronic engineering. Or is Hamood doing another “I don’t know English” tactic in the courts, made famous by one local politician in Australia and hope to get away with it. If he is carrying million of cash, maybe, but this is not the case. Not when someone got killed due to reckless driving.

Frankly speaking, having this kind of foreigners in country seems more frightening than having the lowly paid Bangladesh factory workers, don’t you think so?

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Morning Accident

(Not the same car, not the same road but by the time, the car stopped, the damage to the car was very similar. Image source: http://www.newscientist.com)

It happened in slow motion…

Taking a corner on LDP near Bandar Puteri – the road was wet – I was in the middle lane – saw a maniac driving up fast on the left – showing off his new sports car – any Tom, Dick & Harry will know the most left lane has the most tightest corner.

The tires did not stick, lost the gripe – the car swayed several times – finally hit the concrete barriers at about 80 km/h – debris flying – saw a huge chunk lying on my path, managed avoided it – almost hit another car but managed to slow down – managed to drive away without a scratch

The idiot who drive himself up to the concrete barriers deserved it – it almost hit several cars just because he was thinking he was too good and continued speeding even though the road was wet.

I was lucky to miss it but I was not at ease – I worried whether I had picked up any debris and got myself a punctured tires. I checked my car several times but so far things are looking good. And I hope the driver who hit the barriers today is in coma with severe injuries – one less maniac on the road.

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