(Another car on the wrong side of the road – this was from 2017 where a 21-year-old man was killed when a BMW, travelling against the traffic, rammed into his Perodua MyVi at Jalan Tun Razak near the National Library. Photo source: NST)
There was a time when I drive to work; there is a road that leads from the office to the main road leading into the Federal Highway. This is a known choke point and pretty much crawling at peak hours. So once the right side of the lane jammed up, impatient drivers will then start driving on the wrong side of the road to bypass the traffic and make illegal entry to the main road, compounding the traffic jam at this point. I lost count of the times when I will turn into this slip road only to face off with drivers driving on the wrong side of the road.
(No matter what, Malaysia remains where my heart and soul lies at the end of the day. And nothing kicks starts the notion than flying on the national carrier whilst having hot delicious nasi lemak for company)
Somehow it was great to fly back on MAS – for a couple of things.
One, it was good to hear safety announcements in Bahasa Malaysia again. Two, they served nasi lemak for lunch which was a sure sign that we are heading back home. And one of the first things that I did once I am back home was to catch up on my sleep. I could not help it – I even doze off whilst I was having conversations. Having a weekend and then thereafter the CNY holidays was just perfect to catch up on a break.
(Upset a group of people in this country, you will end up getting a dead chicken on your doorstep. It used to be a cow head. That is what will happen when you have people thinking on their emotions. Image source: http://www.thenewstribe.com)
Well, this was not something new or something that is not common to find in Malaysia. You can find the dumbest and the most arrogant people on Malaysian roads. Those riding motorcycles (except for handful) don’t even come close to the scrapping the bottom of the pit when it comes to law abiding road users. They have safely rooted themselves on Martian grounds.
So it not a big surprise to read this:-
Malaysians are still immature when it comes to road safety and following traffic regulations. Road Safety Department director-general Datuk Tam Weng Wah said the country has first-world facilities and infrastructure, including good roads, pedestrian walkways, proper traffic lights and signages.
He added that despite the efforts to educate the public about abiding by traffic regulations, using zebra crossings and switching on signal lights while driving, many were still not disciplined in those aspects.
“Such bad habits and road culture have contributed to the death toll due to the negligence of their own safety as well as the safety of others,” he said after meeting pedestrians at Jalan Wong Ah Fook here yesterday to promote road safety.
Perhaps I should write another open letter, this time to Datuk Tam Weng Wah. As I have said many times in my blog, end all the sweet talk and come hard on the wrong doers. It is clear that we are having too many immature people on the road and endangering others.
The only way to ensure that the road users abide by the traffic laws is by enforcing the law. AES should be implemented in a greater numbers and this will help to nab speed demons like this (the investigations now revealed that speeding was a factor that caused the 37 deaths back in 2013). And in time, it will become second nature to them and people will just abide by the traffic laws without the need to enforce them.
Beating Up Children in Sweden
Beating our children when they misbehave is nothing new in our Asian society – don’t we all still remember the whacking that we got from our parents and teachers when we were young? Even the Big Boss have gotten one or two from me when he really “misbehaved” (I rather call it being hyperactive with too much knowledge and curiosity) although this is very, very rare (most of the time, I will just raise my voice and whatever “misbehaving” ends immediately)
But it is not the case in other countries as these 2 Malaysians are finding out the hard way in Sweden:-
In a video recorded by the Swedish police last December, and shown to the court on Wednesday, Ammar said his mother Shalwati Nurshal often beat him when he talked back, stomped his feet, or watched YouTube videos instead of joining the family for dinner.
Shalwati, and her husband Azizul Raheem Awalluddin, a Tourism Malaysia director in Stockholm, are facing their second day of trial in the Solna District Court, here, over charges of abusing their children.
This prompted the policewoman to say that regardless of what a child had done, he could not be hit as it was the law in Sweden. Sweden has outlawed corporal punishment since 1979, and those found guilty of breaking the law could face up to six years in prison.
Just like how we expect foreigners to abide by the law of this country, the same goes to Malaysians living & working in other countries. It is just unfortunate that Shalwati and Azizul have been booked for something that most Malaysian parents would do without any hestitation. I just hope that the judge in the court hearing will consider the Asian culture in deciding whether the Malaysian couple is indeed guilty of breaking of the law or just too ignorant of the laws of the country that they are in.
Dead Chickens for Terese Kok
Well, err, read this latest news on dead chicken for Teresa Kok:-
A dead chicken and red paint, along with A4 printouts of Seputeh MP Teresa Kok’s image, were found on the staircase leading to the DAP lawmaker’s office in Seputeh on Wednesday. Kok condemned the act and has stated her belief that it was related to her Onederful Malaysia CNY 2014 video. All these “threats”, including an NGO’s reward offer for anyone to slap her, have made the public upset, claimed Kok.
“Many members of the public have expressed concern for my safety,” said Kok, adding that she’s not considering hiring bodyguards as it is “troublesome”.
Though she feels threatened, Kok said she’s working as usual and is relying on her colleagues to ensure her safety at functions. She urged social media and bloggers to stop playing up and distorting the issue, saying that “enough is enough”. “It’s really unthinkable. There’s a group of people who are bent on turning everything into a racial issue, twisting simple things that I do in such a manner that it threatens my security,” she said.
Yes, I have watched her Onederful video and franky speaking, I don’t get it. It getting clearer that Teresa Kok should not have done up the video in the first place.
Firstly it was not funny and somehow lacked the creative touch. For those who may not understand the language, the acting seemed overboard too. Issues raised was not new and it was tiring to see the same old horse beaten to death. Even Namewee was funnier and made more sense.
Secondly knowing that there are too many emotional people around when it comes to race and religion in this country, she should have focused on something more related to the occasion – Chinese New Year. With too many dry leaves on ground, all it needs is small spark and you will end up with an uncontrolled forest fire.
After all, we are still plenty of immature people in this country, right?
(Which is better? Slowing down or enforcement of other rules like no queue jumping using the emergency lane? One of the morons that I caught on camera, abusing the emergency lane and creating more traffic jam upfront)
I am in a dilemma…
There is a family function to attend up North this week but considering the madness expected on the highways and byways in the next few days, I was wondering whether I should take the dip into the dip of madness as well. But if I don’t go the family function, well you know how it will end up when the next family function comes along. Anyway, I probably need to toss up a coin when it comes to decide the final decision.
Talking about the madness expected on Malaysian roads in the next few days, here is an interesting proposal from the Government on how they expect to lower the fatality statistics on the road:-
The reduction of the speed limit on federal and state roads by 10kph will be reintroduced during the Hari Raya period. The speed limit on federal roads has been reduced to 80kph from 90kph while state roads will now have a 70kph speed limit until Sept 6.
The speed limits on highways are not affected.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha said the reduction, first introduced in 2006, was aimed at reducing the number of road accidents.
After the many bus accidents that caused the death of many Malaysians during the holidays and after many “bright ideas and proposals” by politicians who talked alot but who don’t do anything to get it enforced, the Government has now come out with this interesting “measure” to reduce the fatalities during festive season. But is simply slowing down means the roads are much safer now?
It is a fact that slowing alone does not mean you will be safe on the road. Simply because there are many other factors that contribute to fatal accidents. If one runs through this blog, you would have known some of the said incidents that I have encountered in the past few years.
Just this morning, I almost grazed another car on the fast lane when that idiot decided to change lane without putting up any indicators. And couple weeks ago, the same thing happen when a motorcyclist decided to cut in to the fast lane without any putting up any indicators or checking it was safe to cut-in in the first place. Not putting up the indicators when wanting to switch lane has been rather cancerous with Malaysian drivers. They seems to always think that fellow drivers is able to anticipate their every move and will simply give way when they suddenly cut in onto the path of on-coming car. It gets worse during bad weather – some idiots even do not switch on their headlights, making it a guessing game to accurately judge their distance (some idiots on motorcycle even do not have rear lights on a good day).
And what about the idiots that hog the fast lane, denying others who are faster than them to safely overtake them? How many of us who may have urgent matters to attend to, have encountered such idiots who seems to be enjoying a “leisure Sunday drive” on a Monday morning at peak hours on the fast lane? Don’t you feel like giving these idiots one hard slap on their face? Denied of the space to overtake, how many of us been forced to overtake these idiots from the left, sometimes dangerously whilst at the same time feeling angry and impatient – a feeling that lingers long after we have safely overtaken this idiot and arrived at our destination.
Then we have the famed idiots who at the slightest view of a traffic jam, cut over to the emergency lane and selfishly and arrogantly cutting queue. Where do we place these idiots in the aspect of ensuring that our roads are safer for rest of us? Traffic jams, sometimes also attributed to some slow road hoggers, is part and parcel of driving. It gets worse during the holidays for obvious reasons – too many cars on the road. You need to be patient and bid your time before continuing on to the destination. Everyone wants to reach their final destination as safe as and as fast as possible. Why should we give in to some idiots who simply don’t have the patience and is very selfish and arrogant? These idiots who quickly turn the emergency lane into their private lane to bypass other law abiding road users and by cutting in at the front (due to a broken down car or police block) causing traffic jam to be even worse.
There is a reason why an accident is known as “accident”. An accident is a specific, unpredictable, unusual and unintended external action which occurs in a particular time and place, with no apparent and deliberate cause but with marked effects (Source). It is “unpredictable, unusual and unintended” – no doubt about that since if someone causes an accident intentionally (by knowingly breaking the traffic rules) and it causes someone to die, then it is not known as accident, it is known as murder or in some cases, manslaughter.
TheStar reported that for past 1 week, 117 deaths have been recorded – with no surprise, 60% of them being motorcyclists (perhaps it is how God plays his card in reducing morons on the road). I am pretty sure a good number of them did not have their helmets on. The call to reduce speed limit is good but it is only effective when enforcement of other traffic rules and ensuring that the punishment for “those stubborn ones” to be severe enough that they will not break the rules again.
So, you want to be safe? Don’t only slow down (to the correct speed!) but also keep to the correct lane and cut into the fast lane only when want to overtake others and do so when it is safe to do so. Use the indicators as part and parcel of driving and use it all the time. And never abuse the emergency lane – you never know when you will be involved in a serious accident with your loved one pinned down under the wreck and your life-saver, ambulance is stuck behind your fellow emergency lane abusers.
It was raining cats and dogs on the North South Highway yesterday – the traffic was not that heavy but it was still dangerous to drive. Visibility was all time low and there were huge puddles of water on the road in some areas. Still, it was a good opportunity for me to test out the new car’s ride and handling in worst road conditions. I dare say it passed with flying colors.
Then we had this added to our worries:-
(The scary part is you are not being sure whether the sight of a dark item in the middle of the highway is a car still moving or a car has hit the barrier and is lying on the middle of the road)
(Those who put their emergency indicators whilst still flying on the highway at 110 km/h still fared better than those morons who drive expensive cars but do not switch on the lights so that others can see them. Seriously)
(The weather improves slightly but still, should I count my blessing that the drivers who did not make themselves more visible with switching on the lights was driving large, darker colored vehicles instead of one with white or silver paint?)
To tell you the truth, I am lost for words. What these people expect to save by not switching on the lights when it was raining heavily and visibility was low? A couple of headlight bulbs?
We have low visibility and yet, we have some drivers who do not want to switch on the lights to make themselves visible to others. If you are at the front, it is not so bad but you may need to take care when slamming on the brakes. With such a huge vehicle on the fast lane, the outcome would be tragic. But if you are the back, it simply gets worse – it may be too late before you realize that there is a vehicle at the front. With huge puddles of water on the road, try braking and see if you could stop in time.
But then again, who would expect idiots who would refuse to switch on the lights when visibility is low to know about aquaplaning and concern for fellow road users, right?
(They say that we remember better if we put things down in writing and repeat it on a daily basis in form of a mantra)
(One in the morning before leaving the house. Image source: http://www.britannica.com)
Bung Mokhtar may be stirred up a hornet’s nest with this but frankly speaking, there is some truth with what he has said. But let’s not muddle the matter even more – we can find idiots on both sides of the gender groups.
In the meantime, I have started a new routine – silent prayers in the morning (it applies to the crazy evenings as well) before I drive out.
Dear Al-Mighty, I know I may not keep my part of the bargain but who knows – perhaps this time, it will be different.
As I drive out from my house in the morning, I will take deep breathe to calm myself and tell myself that I have plenty of time in my hands. I will keep it to the speed limit whenever possible and will not be the usual speed demon, harassing the slower vehicles who hog the fast lane and who refused to move away despite plenty of warnings given. I will recognize that there are people in this world who think they have the right to drive on the fast lane, not by the speed but by the size of their vehicle (and ego).
I will also recognize those pesky motorcyclists who speeding away on the highway wearing dark clothes and without any lights or indicators whatsoever that they are too road users like the rest of us. They too have family waiting for them at home and despite being too stupid and reckless to be taking such high risks; perhaps a gory death is too extreme of a punishment for them. Besides I have better things to do than be entangled with a case of fatal accident so early in the morning – I rather spend my time having a hot roti canai and a nice cup of tea than roaming around in a police station explaining on how this idiot on the bike suddenly veered into my lane.
And when I pass by foreign factory workers who don’t bother to look left and right before crossing roads, I recognize that if they were to use their brain when they are on the road, they would not be working in a factory far away from their home with low pay and almost robotic like work tasks. I am pretty sure that if they have done that, they would be working in a high tech laboratory with a hefty salary that might be enough for them to buy a car instead of walking precariously in heavy traffic.
I also recognize that we are yet to reach the level of developed country and condition of the road has been nothing to shout about – there are some parts of the road that I use on a regular basis seemed to be built by people who probably have not driven anything in their life. Potholes and lame quality of road is nothing new in the Bolehland.
I will remember to continue to take in deep breath so as at not to elevate my heart beat and do things that I will regret later. I know I don’t think rationally when I am angry – it does not worth it to be angry on something I don’t have control on. It is more useful if I can focus all that energy on focusing on my own driving and reaching the destination in one piece.
With that, I am one step away from being an “uncle driver” – damn!
The last time I saw an impromptu decision in action was when my Dad decided to take us to Morib when I was still small. We were at home at one moment and suddenly couple of minutes; we were on the way to Morib where I saw the sea for the first time in my life.
2011 would be the second time when I have decided to do something major without giving much thought. Perhaps it was due to a sense of adventure – it has been sometime since I went on a long journey to an unknown place or perhaps it is due to a sense of friendship, not wanting to leave a fellow comrade to take up the long journey all alone.
A journey of almost 1,000 km in a day (thankfully having a friend to take turn driving and keep the sanity during the journey) to a place we never been before and had no idea on how to go (other than relying on some guides in the internet and on-board GPS) is certainly going to be one of the craziest things I am going to do in 2011.
Just hope that everything goes well for the rather impromptu, last minute, crazy endeavor. Part 1 coming up soon (I hope)…
(Don’t be an idiot and remain unnoticed to other motorists by not switching on the headlights. Image source: http://carcountrycreditcruncher.wordpress.com)
Saturday was hectic but it was almost a free day on Sunday, so we decided on the next thing to a good workout in a gym – shopping. We had our own reasons – my wife wanting to buy some cheap clothes for work (she intended to “capitalize” on cheap bargains during the on-going Christmas sales), me wanting to buy a bigger ext HDD (I am running out of HDD space fast) and my son, just wanting to go somewhere outside the house.
It was almost 6 hours of shopping & dining before we decided to call it and headed home. We walked a lot – you know how tough it is for the women to be satisfied with the choices available, right? At end of the day, my wife was somewhat happy with her purchase although it took some time for her to finalize the “final 3 T-shirts for work”, myself getting what I wanted (and more) and my son somehow unhappy for walking a lot for the day and not buying any toys at the end of the day (I tried to entertain his request but the chaos at the toys section, with Christmas around the corner, made us think twice of venturing into the place).
We were tired (but not hungry – we had a lot to eat – perhaps due to stress of shopping) and were felt relieved when we finally walked toward the parking lot. I noticed that most of the “in-coming cars” was wet and we could hear thunder in the distant horizon. I somehow knew that it is going to be a very wet journey home. However, it being a Sunday, I did not expect a lot of traffic on the road and expected a smooth ride back home.
It was pouring when we hit the road but it was alright until we reached Puchong IOI Mall area when the traffic was practically not moving. It was crawling – I suspected major accident upfront – after all, it was raining heavily and visibility was quite bad. As we moved up front, we saw the problem. Two of the three lanes of the highway were flooded, forcing all the three lanes to squeeze into a single lane. But once we passed this place, it was back to normal Sunday drive.
(Who is more visible in this photo? Image source: http://www.driveandstayalive.com)
As we were stuck in the traffic jam, we were able to see around us and observe how the other motorists were coping with the unexpected Sunday evening traffic jam in heavy rain and with very poor visibility and with a touch of uncertainty on what is causing this traffic jam. And one of thing that stood up quite “prominently” during the traffic jam is the part where concerned motorists switching on the car headlights so that they can warn others of them and them to others in that low visibility ride.
Interestingly there are 3-4 “dungus” with white / silver colored cars who think since it is still not night, did not opt to switch on the headlights. Perhaps the cheap bastards think that they can prolong the lifeline of their car headlights by switching on only when it absolutely needed. They continued to ride-on in the heavy rain without any lights switched on. There were (as predicted) 1-2 who panicked and switched on their hazard lights but then again, at least those idiots who switch on their hazard lights fared slightly better than those who don’t switch on anything. At least we know where these idiots are flying through in the heavy rain.
Thankfully the traffic was bad, so we did not have any “heroes” who are also speeding in the heavy downpour, low visibility conditions (to make things more “interesting”, throw in an idiot who is driving without any lights at the front). It is amazing on how some people put their fate (and theirs and others life) on their ABS-less, no traction control whatsoever, locally made cheap, tin can cars. It is “ok” if they are not aware of the effect known as aquaplaning but there is no doubt that the road is damn slippery. There is no doubt that when they slam their brakes, it is going to take a longer distance for their vehicles to come to a complete stop. There is no doubt that when this happens, we are going to have serious injuries all over the place.
Well, that is uncivilized Malaysian driver for you – always thinking on their backside when driving on the road.
This has to be one of the coolest thing I have ever seen on a highway (second to the time me and my friends “caught” a couple having sex whilst still on the slow lane of the highway but let me keep that for another time).
First, the photos – after all, “seeing is believing”, right? (photos taken on Saturday morning, towards North)
(All Whites! At first, we thought it was a new way of delivering new vehicles to their customers – some beautifully modified told us it was not. By the way, 3 Idiots are seen at the top – putting themselves and other road users at great danger)
(Whites Knights meet All Blacks – before we got bored with the whites, they caught with another part of the convoy which was made of all black colored Livinas. Somehow the blacks “behaved” themselves on the highway, keeping to the left lane of the highway)
(Blacks and whites were not the only color that we saw – further up, there was others colors too)
Kudos to the organizers – as I made to understand, it was organized with the participants from the Northern, Central and Southern regions. And it is not easy to get the over-zealous drivers in toe and keep the convoy formation in line. It was interesting to watch the various “colors” in a long straight line and plenty of things to chat during the night once we have reached our destinations.
But here is the sickening part of an otherwise brilliant stroke of organization – those Livina drivers, in their eagerness to keep in line with their same color comrades, completely ignored the rest of the road users.
(This was a very close call at 110 km/h! Ya, you indicate to cut in but you don’t bother to see whether there was enough gap to cut in. You simply cut in to join your friends on the left lane. I dreaded the thought when the 3 lane highway gets down to only 2 lanes and there is more of the heavy vehicles on the left lane)
(King of the road? By holding the sweeper position on the middle lane, you hog 2 lanes leaving the rest of the highway users to use the fast lane to cut the whole convoy)
They cut in very closely and most of the times, leaves very little room for maneuvering and overtaking. With 20 or so cars in a convoy hogging the left lane and occasionally the middle lane (when overtaking trucks and slower moving vehicles), these drivers drove as if the highway belonged to them and no one else. There was the fast lane but it was not easy to make the overtaking move especially when you have BMWs and Mercedes coming down screaming at your rear of your car within seconds.
After a while, I had enough of driving rather dangerously next to the group, I decided to speed up and leave the group as far away as possible (they caught up when I made a “pit-stop” at the R&R but I managed to fly through before they managed to regroup and cause headache to others).