- Updated with our comments on the politics, excuses, avoidance and inevitable blameshifting!
- Updated with more articles about the investigation!
- Updated with more information about the crash!
The members of TRANSIT where shocked to learn of the horrific bus crash in the Cameron Highlands that caused the death of 27 passengers, Thai holidaymakers and Malaysians.
This graphic below from the Star shows how the crash may have happened.
Some people may point out that the dead were visitors from Thailand, not Malaysians. They could argue that it could have just been a tragic accident.
We do not care. The dead and injured could very well have been Malaysians on a holiday trip. And we as Malaysians should face a deep shame that visitors to our country have died while attempting to enjoy what our country has to offer.
Are we going to put up a sign at the Malaysian border saying “Enter at Your Own Risk? Or are we as Malaysians, and the leaders who claim to represent us, the government that claims to serve us, going to wake up and fix these problems which have been plaguing our transport industry.
We can only wonder how our Prime Minister Najib Razak can face himself in the mirror, knowing that all of his programmes to improve the quality of life in Malaysia, barely anything has been done to address these terrible tragedies which continue to occur frequently!
We wonder how Nazri Abdul Aziz and the Attorney General’s Office can sleep at night, knowing that a crucial amendment to the Road Transport Act was pulled from the Parliamentary sitting in April of 2010, because some MPs objected to plans that would improve safety for drivers and motorcyclists alike!
We wonder how Syed Hamid Albar, Chair of SPAD and Nor Ismal Kamal, CEO of SPAD could sit by and do nothing between September 2010 (when SPAD was “semi-official”) and today. Could they not at least have warned the bus operators that their day of reckoning was coming and they should improve while they still had the chance?
We wonder how Ashfar Ali, the President of the Pan-Malaysian Bus Operators’ Association, can continue to blame the government and the CVLB for all the problems in the public transport industry, excusing the actions of the bus operators that he represents.
We wonder how our Wakil Rakyat and indeed, the Rakyat themselves can continue to sit by and allow these tragedies to happen? Where are the protests? Where are the calls for action and answers? Where is the accountability and responsibility.
Today we sit at the computer in deep pain, wondering why we have failed another 27 Malaysians. And what is worse is that we in TRANSIT have no idea what more we can do.
If our government, our leaders, our civil servants and our Wakil Rakyat have continued to fail us, what can a group of public transport supporters do?
TRANSIT notes that according to the Public Works Department, the road was “up to the mark.”
At least MIROS and JKJR can encourage JPJ and PWD to adopt the use of Wire Rope Safety Fence/Barriers which have been successful in other countries, where cross-median crashes of heavy vehicles with high center of gravity can be avoided with proper cable installation plus sufficient median buffer zones.
The record breaking fatal accident at Sg Pulai is not far different from the previous record breaking accident at Simpang Empat, with high gravity buses went over the median barriers and flipped over to the opposite side.
Also, buses with high center of gravity should not have been permitted to traverse steep mountains with dangerously sharp corners.
For more information about the crash, please see the following articles in The Star:
- 27 killed in Camerons crash
- Eerie silence at hospital mortuary
- Miros to look into cause of crash
- Docs scramble to treat survivors
- Locals and visitors express disbelief over accident
- The dead victims [TRANSIT: We ask our readers to please read and reflect on the names of the dead & injured]
The early investigation
- Camerons crash: Probe report ready in a fortnight;
- Camerons crash: Cabinet directs independent probe;
- Camerons crash: Bus was high-decker, not double-decker;
- Permit allows for 19 seats, but capacity increased to 40;
The excuses, avoidance, politics & blameshifting
NOTE: As you can imagine, the members of TRANSIT were hoping that this would not happen, but as you can see, it has already started.
- Road is up to mark, says PWD; TRANSIT: We have to wonder how they can say that while others say it is a “known black spot” – classic avoidance tactic!
- MCA: Make safety features compulsory; TRANSIT: We have to wonder where the MCA was in the past few crashes!
- Priority area for SPAD; TRANSIT: A promise of action from an agency that took no action for 5 months because it was “not allowed to!”
- Punters make up the numbers at mortuary TRANSIT: That’s just sick!