LETTER

Transport minister should step down

Vincent Lim

Published
Modified 29 Jan 2008, 10:21 am

I refer to the malaysiakini report Bus crash kills 20, two in critical condition . I am deeply saddened by this horrific crash. Personally, when it comes to such a tragic news, it is common that the Malaysian government and politician to point fingers at others.

Some would then take the incidence of such a tragedy to propose some 'wake up' measures such as introducing courses, forming committees, etc. What I want to point out is that isn't it the job of these politicians in the government to prevent such a tragedy from happening?

Don't they know that their job is to monitor or enforce laws to protect innocent civilians? Why wait until after an accident that killed so many to take action. The driver of the ill-fate bus had 13 outstanding summonses from the police.

The people in the government had the power to prevent the accident, but sadly they didn't. The people in the ministries had the power to monitor this bus driver, but didn't. Now some politician, after the tragedy, vouches for pilot-like efficiency in bus drivers.

The issue I personally want to raise is, what are the people in the Transport Ministry doing? In the first place, don't they know that so many lives are at stake in the first place? How many unreliable and illegal bus operators put innocent lives at stake daily?

At almost every major bus station, there are 'sellers' of illegal bus services. Passengers sometimes are cheated by these irresponsible bus operators when school buses are used for long range travel. These illegal public transport companies are never punctual and the drivers' skill is questionable.

It is a shame and shows inefficiency to the country's transportation system. If the ministry didn't know about this situation in the first place, what have they been doing all this while? If indeed they do know, why then was there no action against irresponsible operators and drivers?

I think the transport minister should step down and be replaced if he is unable to resolve the problem that's been here even before he came into office. Lives are being risked just because some people can't do their job well enough.