A bridge too Far

What is happening?

Not too long ago (in June 09) , we have the collapse of a stadium

T'ganu stadium

I have written a post on this collapse ( “fall roof and pothole syndrome” ) and I have said this:  ‘be careful when you step into a new public building, and be prepared to run the race of your life if you see any cracks appearing before you’.

Now, another disaster has happened. A suspension bridge, newly built, collapsed resulting in the death of 1 student and another 2 are still missing.

1bridgepic from nanyang

Apparently, one side of the support was pulled out together with the concrete foundation , just like a weed pulled out from a grass field. But this is no weed. This is a suspension bridge made of metal on a concrete foundation. How could this ever happen?

I have seen  bridges in China that are already many many hundreds of years old and not even made of concrete, but of stones lining against each other. zhouzhuang

Take an example. This bridge in China is already many hundred years old. It is still as solid and as safe as before..

or this

wood bridge A wood bridge many many years old but still as solid and trustworthy as before..

The bridge builders now have access to modern technology, modern design, modern science and modern tools to make safe bridges, and yet they cannot even made a bridge that is safe for students to cross.

So something is very wrong. Very very wrong somewhere. We do not even need the AUditor General  to report . 

We can safely conclude  that there is definitely negligence  somewhere or ‘corner-cutting’ for this 1 bridge to collapse. And because of this negligence/corner-cutting , lives are lost.

Imagine, if you are the parents and friends of these parents, what would you feel? Probably blaming themselves for sending the children to the so-called 1Malaysia camp. To these children and parents  , it might as  well be a death camp..Sorry, I am using harsh words, but I am very upset to see innocent lives being lost, because of ‘ tidak  apa’ attidtude or ‘greed’.

I hope that a thorough investigation can be carried out. Not only that , a new system of awarding contract and supervision must be put in place, a system that ensures that good practice are being put in place and follows strict guidelines in constructions and buildings.

Over all, we need to urgently do away with the ‘rot’ culture, and bring back some semblance of excellence fast.


recommended reading: Manhole syndrome


20 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. justin choo
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 12:17:32

    Dr Hsu,

    “So something is very wrong.
    We can safely conclude that there is definitely negligence somewhere or ‘corner-cutting’ for this 1 bridge to collapse. And because of this negligence/corner-cutting , lives are lost.”

    Is there any surprise?????

    Dr Hsu, why waste your valiable time harping on the same issue?? Why knocking your head against the stone wall?

    Forget about the small candle. You are definitely wrong on this perseption of yours that good people cannot be politicians. Good people cannot be BAD politicians. Good people will be GOOD politicians. Dr Hsu change your perspective and do something for us and the nation. I will give you 100% support on your mission to eally rid the nations of scoundrels and bandits. I am sure thousands will support you if you are determined to make the positive move.

    Otherwise, sigh, we will be regurgitating the same disgusting spew, without getting any better.


  2. Yam Siap
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 12:31:31

    Dr. Hsu you can have the most thorough investigation in the world for Bolihland, nothing good will come out of it. No action will be taken maybe a token fine against the builder then everything will be back to square one. We in Bolihland have millions and millions of of laws but what for if there are no enforcement. Sometimes I wonder why they do not enforce the laws seriously. Is it because if they enforce these laws then there are no lawbreakers. And if no lawbreakers then how to cari pocket money.


  3. A true Malaysian
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 12:33:05

    I don’t think the collapse of this brand new suspension bridge would have happened if Nizar is still the MB, PR is still the one in-charged.

    Many such things would happen under Umno MB Zambry…..Just look at today’s State assembly, worse than wet market.

    To Umno, it is perfectly alright, dirty is the perception of ‘we’ politicians mah, who cares what would happen?


  4. Dr Hsu
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 12:55:02


    Maybe if I should stop writing, if you think my harping on issues is like knocking my head on the wall.

    I do not need to spend a few hours on the blog a day to harp on issues, if you think that is of no use at all.

    Unlike those bloggers who are employed to do the bidings of their employers ( professional writers), I am self employed and have a full time profession, which takes up so much of my time already. Those who know me would know that I have NET syndrome, meaning Not Enough Time Syndrome, and every bit of writings is hurried, even though every bit is from the deepest part of my heart.

    BUt if after doing 900 hundred plus posts and people still think that it is of no use, then I have failed and failed miserably and the next question would be: why waste my time?

    Seriously, I could do with more time for myself.

    You have too high opinion of me. As an old man, I cannot really become an effective politician. Some more, no one, either in power or in opposition, likes to hear plain talk and frank opinion. They like flattery which I cannot provide them, and without that skill of ‘bodek’ and flattery, you cannot hope to get support from factions , that normally will do a lot of horse tradings as to why should they support you…

    I thought i would be more useful in writings and speaking my minds on issues ( and using the party platform to get my voice amplified) and try to influence younger generations on their views. If I have failed to achieve that despite abot 3 years of writings, and spendings thousands of hours writings and moderating, then I think I should seriously consider taking a rest, and slowly fade away both from party as well as from blogosphere.

    Sorry to have failed your expectations..

    And sorry for the plain talk, but that is my style ….


  5. disgusted
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 13:05:00


    Keep writing and speaking minds. It is better to remain in practicing and helping people with ailments. High profile active politics is not your cup of tea and I support you from taking the fast lane.

    Even during the prophets’ days, you name it, Jesus, Mohd and Gautama Buddha, not everybody deserve the help even when these great sages were around with their presence. So who are you, or anyone or us to save the world or Bolehland. Simple fact.

    Maintain your comfortable style. Big ways don’t necessary bring benefits, small ways on the other hand could bring benefits we don’t see or hear.


  6. A true Malaysian
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 13:12:26

    Dr. Hsu,

    I can understand your stand on this issue and it is one’s freedom to be a politician or not. It is your choice and no point forcing one to be one.

    But, what I can’t accept is the perception of politics is dirty and that in order to survive, a politicians must be somehow dirty as well.

    No one here is at doubt of your sincerity in your efforts through your long hours spend on writing. You have this unique talent that many people lack of. You should use this talent to convince good people to join politics, and change the perception of only shrewd or crooks can do well in politics.

    I believe, it is better you are out of Gerakan, and continue with your writing here. Being in Gerakan and with many politicians of both divide are still with “partisan” mindsets, many of them may not want to accept your opinions or views in many areas, not because you are not good, but because you are in Gerakan. Partisan attitude is still very thick in them and will not be fading of so soon.

    I can understand your frustration here as well as Justin’s. Both of you are my respected friends, I met you both. I am priviledged to know both of you.


  7. klm
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 15:18:02

    If you want to know, the fallen bridge is a small part of a 7-8 Billion ringgit problem coming up. This may even be bigger than PKFZ.

    In the last year or so, the govt had ” borrowed” 7-8 Billion RM from EPF. The purpose was to stimulate the economy by funding projects ostensibly for Class F contractors. You know what I mean.

    A lot of constructions went full steam even when agreements and other things were not ready. The objective was to build, deliver and take the money from the stimulus fund. The developers of these projects just steamrolled the construction, the clients ready or not, were not important.

    For example, a number of cases had come up where the land owners are asking the developers to demolish quarters constructed on their lands. The developers were supposed to setup ventures with the landowners but went ahead with the constructions before the agreements were signed. Now that the buildings are up and with no agreements in place, the land owners are asking for the demolition or to buy over the land at a premium that is above market price.

    Such cases will eventually cause the Govt even more money.

    Also, how many more fallen bridges will we see.

    We may have another mother of all scandal coming.


  8. Clarence
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 16:35:24

    Dr. Hsu, please continue to write and speak out. You do MAKE a difference.

    Have you read the story of “the weight of a snowflake?”. Here is my condensed version.

    Two birds are sitting on a tree branch in winter.

    “Tell me the weight of a snowflake”, a songbird asked a dove.

    “Nothing more than nothing”, the dove answered.

    “In that case I must tell you a marvellous story”, the songbird said.

    “I sat on a branch close to the trunk when it began to snow. Since I have nothing better to do, I counted the snowflakes settling on the branch. Their number was exactly 3,471,952. When the next (3,471,953rd) snowflake dropped onto the branch – nothing more than nothing, as you say – the branch broke off”.

    Having said that, the songbird flew away.

    The dove thought about the story for a while. Finally, it said to itself, “Perhaps there is only one person’s voice lacking for peace to come to the world”.

    Dr. Hsu, each of the 900+ posts in your blog is like the snowflake. It may seem like the weight of your opinion seems like “nothing more than nothing” to some people. But collectively, your opinion weighs on the mind and conscience of your readers and party members. Perhaps your 1000th or 1001th post is the one that achieves the breakthrough you desire.

    So, please continue to speak out and blog. Otherwise, there will indeed be one person’s voice lacking for political peace to come to Malaysia.


  9. Dr Hsu
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 16:50:42

    thank you for the encouragement and the story of the snowflakes..

    That gives me strength to pen some more and be critical ..

    You know what the party president said of me? He told an AMbassador during an Open HOuse that I am the most critical person in the party.. I do not know what he meant, but i hope he should take criticism like good medicine, after all, good medicine is often bitter.

    I criticise because I thought the party still has hope, otherwise, I would have packed my bag and go home and sleep…BUt to the leaders, they want flattery and praises, which are already aplenty…


  10. justin choo
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 17:36:46

    Dr Hsu,

    Looks like I need to wait fror your 1000th posting. Please let us know in advance when that BIG one is coming. By the way what number is this last posting? That will give me an indication when the BIG one will arrive.

    Well, well, Dr Hsu, looks like I can only settle for your blog postings, and not executing important political policies.

    Sigh, sigh, sigh!!!


  11. A true Malaysian
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 17:51:02

    Justin and Dr. Hsu,

    Just throw away politics for a minute. I would like to share a light moment here.

    “A bridge too far”, the word “bridge” recalled my recent visit to Penang, without crossing the “bridge”. But, it was good enough, it was a wonderful trip.

    Many people say, without crossing the Penang Bridge, you are not considered as visiting Penang. You see, this is the perception of many people. My perception changed after my last trip.

    Perhaps we should promote to correct the perception of “politics is dirty”, if not, many good people will not join politics.

    “A bridge is never too far to cross, if one is willing”. You get what I mean?


  12. Meng
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 19:51:41

    Hi Doc

    This is your blog, your house, say and write what you think fit… your thoughts and feelings. BUT there are others may not agree… It takes a big Man to receive criticism, yet remain cool in the blogsphere.

    Please continue writing..Doc. It’s a pleasure visiting your blog


  13. Meng
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 19:58:00

    Suspension bridge collapsed, no big deal. Lots of things have collapsed in this country and the latest is just adding to one more. Must keep up with the times and many more will come tumbling down..


  14. jkr
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 23:42:48

    These disasters are GOD created to open the eyes and heart of the public.How else can you explain these disasters. Cutting corners in construction has been going on for so long.All contractors maximise their profit by cutting corners.This project does not even have a design consultant ( it looks like being the case). The media said it was a gift (no Money was paid). From who to whom.
    These are political capital for whoever wants to be the next government. Just compile all the high profile cases. Keep a dossier. Roll it out during election campaign and you are half way there.


  15. aca
    Oct 29, 2009 @ 00:32:04

    whats a few deaths? 1Malaysia camp must go on.



  16. spot red
    Oct 29, 2009 @ 00:53:17

    It is too easy to point the fingers at the contractor or the developer! this bridge collapse because too many pupil crossing it at the same time in a joyous mood and jumping on it. 22 pupil weight almost one tonne, very heavy and plus the dynamic load, it excees the allow loading on this bridge!

    Which bridge in this world cannot collapse if it is overloaded.

    This bridge engineer/developer/contractor should have told the teachers how many pupil can use this suspension bridge at one time ( say 10 pupil, the limit the bridge can take ) and not to rock it at the mid-span.

    The teacher should have assigned guards at the entrance and exit of the bridge to limit it use!

    Will this bridge collapse if it was used within it’s limited loading capacity??

    No bridges will collapse, no boats will sink if they are not overloaded!

    spot red


  17. spot red
    Oct 29, 2009 @ 00:57:40

    Ya Dr.

    will your patient die if you prescribe and overdose the medicine ?

    spot red = a civil engineer.


  18. Atila
    Oct 29, 2009 @ 01:35:51

    Dr Hsu

    Please continue writing, you are the only one from BN Gerakan with rational mind on all matters.

    Your perspectives, we have ours and its worth knowing other views.

    Since you posted the above, i want to bring to your attention not only to stadium & bridge
    but Masjid Terapung in Tg.Bungah, Penang.

    We have yet to see OC & no geran until today, but its fuctioning with “jemaahs” for daily prayers, friday prayers and etc.

    The old mosque nearby has OC and geran, but the new masjid commitee neglected it. Fyi,
    the commitee are mainly “pro-umno”.

    If the new mosque collapsed during Friday prayers with hundred of “jemaah”, how?

    In Malaysia, must collapsed with deaths
    then only “action happening”.


  19. weng wong
    Nov 05, 2009 @ 00:56:03

    My goodness, a new small suspension wooden bridge was built fragiled and what about the cross-sea bridge in Penang??


  20. erendaKedalet
    Dec 18, 2009 @ 07:48:18

    Hi guys,
    My computer worked slowly, too much mistakes and buggs. Please, help me to fix errors on my PC.
    My operation system is Windows 2003.


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