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YOURSAY | Public yearning for transparency in Johor bicycle case

YOURSAY | ‘There is a desire to be certain this is not a case of retribution.’

Johor bicycle tragedy: Driver seeks leave to appeal

OMG!: What are the facts of the case? What forensic investigations were done by the police? The photo shows an overturned car. Was that Sam Ke Ting’s? If so, she was probably startled and took evasive action, perhaps hitting the curb and somersaulted.

That means Sam’s life was also badly endangered. She might have been permanently disabled or killed. And now she’s jailed for six years? A decision that comes five years after the accident? Good grief! Justice delayed is justice denied.

How is it there being absolutely zero references, in published remarks, about the boys’ contributory negligence? Does all the fault lie on Sam? 100 percent?

How can this be a blindingly clear-cut case when the magistrate (Siti Hajar Ali) differed in her opinion? Surprisingly, hers was diametrically opposite to the esteemed High Court judge’s (Abu Bakar Katar).

Any published reference to the estimated speed of Sam’s car, as could be determined by tyre braking marks? Going by the remarks made, this is like a textbook, crystal-clear case. No nuances at all.

And yet, a staggeringly long time - five years - to dish out a complete difference of opinion between the lower and higher courts. It gives one pause.

With greatest respect to our excellent judiciary, one nevertheless has to ask, what is going on? It is not good that our minds are troubled thus, though other minds apparently are relieved, perhaps even thankful Sam is going to jail.

That won’t bring back the young lives lost. And in addition to the loss of lives, we have a young working woman’s life exposed to risk of terrible injury, even death. Post-accident, she suffered many years in limbo, not knowing her fate. Now, she is being jailed for years, after undergoing all that trauma.

There is a public desire for transparency. There is a desire to be certain this is not a case of retribution. Only public dissemination of facts can achieve this.

VP Biden: The loss of eight young lives (from 14 to 16 years old) is unbearable to the families. At the same time, how can a young person (aged 27) be sentenced to imprisonment for something that is essentially an accident?

As the judge said, “darkness and limited visibility” was present. Shouldn’t the local council be taken to task for not providing a safe driving environment?

The sentence is not justified. All Malaysians need to rise above the racial polemics at play here and raise the actual issue – fair play in our justice system.

ScarletViper9930: While we regret the loss of lives, the question still should be raised, who is really culpable in this horrific accident?

Given the circumstances, anybody would have been involved in the same accident.

Firstly, the teens were not supposed to be using their modified bikes on the highway (Jalan Lingkaran Dalam, Johor Bahru), much less racing, given how dangerous it can be, as proven regrettably.

Secondly, they are underaged kids and should be in bed at that time (3am). So who is really responsible?

If the parents failed to protect their kids by keeping them in line, is it fair to blame the person, in this case, Sam, who happens to be unlucky enough to be there?

Don't take out your failures on someone else, this is really unjust.

RedSalmon6011: In the past, I use to work late and on a number of occasions, on the highway past midnight, there are hundreds of bikes parked everywhere.

With them revving their engines, you would be too scared to drive past them for fear of your safety. On one occasion, someone threw their helmet and it hit my car.

My question is, why is this happening on the highway and are we the drivers to blame if mishaps happen? I hope the highway authorities and police seriously look into this.

MarioT: The parents or guardians are mainly responsible for failure to monitor their children's activities resulting in their untimely and unfortunate deaths.

I, too, have encountered harrowing experiences in my area of children as young as 12 years old, riding motorbikes with pillion riders as well.

Fortunately, there are no untoward incidents so far. I have alerted the authorities whenever I see it happening. Parents or guardians cannot shirk their responsibilities or blame others for their own carelessness.

Maluka: The court judgment aside, I am wondering what is the reason for sentencing Sam straight to jail and denying her the right to be out on bail while appealing to a higher court for a final verdict.

This is very unprecedented, unusual, and unreasonable. Did the judge submit his reason for deciding this? I hope the legal community can enlighten us laymen on this.

Rupert16: Sam was acquitted twice in 2019 (without calling her to the stand after finding that the prosecution had failed to prove a prima facie case) and 2021 (after the High Court ordered Sam to enter her defence - the magistrate said later the prosecution had failed to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt).

But she is going to jail immediately without bail.

Najib was convicted in 2020 and lost his appeal in 2021 but still walks freely and talks like he’s still the prime minister. Where is the justice?

BrownOtter5875: I wonder what will the judgment be if Sam had hit a tree and lost a leg or ended up paralysed that night while trying to avoid those children?

Any able-bodied driver would be struck by panic when faced with a sudden appearance of a bunch of hazardous kids on the highway with neither lights nor reflectors.

I once faced almost the same incident with a herd of buffalo resting in the middle of the road. Only their reflective eyes prevented an accident. Luckily, I stepped on the brakes instead of the gas pedal during that split second.

Just because Sam ended up alive instead of otherwise doesn't mean she must be jailed. Sam could have been killed too in that accident as playing in the middle of the road without lights is a hazard to any vehicle.

Vengeance will not close the wounds of any parent's heart.

COMMENT | Treading the thin line when commenting on court cases

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