Those of you who stay in PJ would have at one time or another encountered the snarling jam in the now infamous Rothsman Roundabout.
This is the roundabout that links 4 busy roads: Jalan Universiti leading to sections 16 and 17, jalan Semangat leading to section 14, the road that connects to ss2/24, and jalan 19/1 leading to section 19 industrial area.
This roundabout is famed for its deadlocked jam. Whenever motorists come to this junction, all their sanity appears to have just disappeared, and what takes its place was the kiahsu mentality, with each vehicle trying to outdo another to squeeze into whatever tiny space there is, in order just to be in front of the other car.
What results is a deadlock, which sometimes takes hours to clear.
During the rush hours, even with the presence of police, the jam is as bad ( some motorists claim it is worse), and motorists just disregard every rule and courtesy there is, right in front of the law-enforcers, just to move into the deadlock.
In the beginning of this year, an upgrading operation was commenced, to turn this roundabout into a traffic light junction. It was scheduled to be completed months ago, but the completion date has been postponed and postponed and postponed again. The latest deadline for completion is supposed to be end of September, which is tomorrow. But there is still no sign of any semblance of a traffic light junction yet, as of today (when I passed it this morning) .
In the mean time, traffic jam has become worse, since the area is now so full of potholes and trenches that cars have to slow down , making the already bad situation worse.
Someone commented to me that this type of work would take only a week for a provincial town in China to complete, and it would probably take Hong Kong or Singapore one month . But it is now 9 months, and still there is no end to it.
A lot of people thought that by voting the opposition into State government, this type of routine work would be greatly hastened. That would only be an illusion.
I have often told the young people that we must not expect wonders or miracles if we vote opposition into government. This is because policy change takes years. Culture change would take even longer. In Malaysia, the tidak apa attitude and the manhole syndrome have been so ingrained into the minds of the little napoleans that it would take probably a generation to change the mindset. We must not expect drastic changes to take place, when we vote the opposition into government.
This also brings up a point that it is easier to be in the opposition and be critical of whatever it is; but once in government, even opposition leaders realise that it is often not as easy to push through a scheduled work like the above example, as they must have thought. There are simply too many red tapes and man-made ‘blockage’ for any project to complete.
I quote this Rothmans Roundabout as an example as to how work is still as snail-paced as before in Selangor, even with the change of government.
Having said that, I would still want to reiterate that we need to have a 2 party system in the country first, before we can slowly do away with this “manhole” tidak apa culture. There is always a first step when a baby learns to walk.
Just do not have too high an expectation even if the other side comes into power..
For the long term good of the country, I believe that we, despite all these inconvenience, need to put in place an mechanism for change first. We must first put in place a check and balance system so that in the event we do not see the results from one side, after a reasonable period of time, we can kick that side out and put the other side in.
That is the spirits of democracy, and in order for us achieve this, we must be prepared, for one term at least, to let the opposition take charge..