Senseless deaths

I feel extremely sorry for the families of the 4 youngsters that died in a car accident in Johore recently, when the MPV they were in crashed into a ravine.

I also feel extremely sorry for the 17 year old youngster who drove the car and who survived the accident. I do not blame him, seeing how much he regretted and the grief he has displayed. I am sorry for him because this youngster would have to bear the burden of regret for these deaths for the rest of his life.

Whether it was his fault or somebody else (it was reported that some car cut into his lane just before the accident), it is no longer important, but we Malaysians  should learn something from these senseless deaths.

These youngsters were all going to be the ‘brains ‘ of the nation, and the deaths are not a loss to their families, but the whole nation as well.

From these senseless deaths can we learn anything?

Firstly, does passing the driving test mean that a person is qualified to drive? It would seem so, since under the law, anyone with a driving license can drive. But with just a few driving lessons and most of the lessons done on urban or town roads, is it sufficient to equip us to drive on unfamiliar road conditions? Long distance driving is very different; so much more anticipation and so much more care are needed in long distance driving that a good town driver may not be a good distance drivier.

Secondly, those with kids who have passed driving tests will all know about our system. A youngster approaches a driving school, and the first thing the driving instructor asks is whether you want to “pao”. If you want to ‘pao’, you pay a certain sum, and you are guaranteed to pass, one way or another, especially on road driving.  Even if you are a very lousy driver, but as long as you “pao”, they will also”pao’ you, and you will be given the license to kill drive. we all know that this has something to do with corruption, and corrupt officials are actually helping to churn out thousands of killer drivers every year. So much for the ‘blood money’ on their hands.

So knowing how the system functions, I had purposedly gone on long distance trips after each of my kids passed driving exam, and asked my kid to drive me, and gave him/her as much tips on long distance driving as I could while sitting next to him/her.  Children may not like it, but i think it is the adults’ duty to make sure that they are really able to handle a car well before letting them drive alone unsupervised especially on long distance driving.

In this case, I dont know whether the driver has ‘pao’ or not. But knowing that he has just passed his driving test, and knowing how our system function, why was he allowed to handle a big car like a 7 seater MPV(or SUV)? Why was he allowed to go on long distance driving? And why was he allowed to fetch 6 persons in the car on a long distance trip? Cars with full loads are typically  more difficult to manoevre, and a big car like a MPV  would require more skill in manoevring around corners or braking.

The system has to take some responsilibilty for this sort of accidents. Practically everyone knows about the ‘pao’ buisness. Everyone knows that corruption is involved. I am sure even the kids of the leaders have gone through the ‘pao’ system too. So the question to ask is that why after so many years, noting was done to curb it. .

The same system has been allowed to produce drivers that are half past six, drivers that do not obey road signs or rules , drivers that drive up against traffic in one way street and so on. Why wasn’t  anything  done? Giving reminders and presents on balik kampong trips during festive seasons are just gimmicks for publicity; i do not think it has any effect on curbing accidents and dangerous driving.

It is proper instruction and strict testing conditions that will help to produce better drivers. It is education and guidance that will produce more tolerant individuals who would be more patient and better drivers. Why nothing was done?

If nothing is done to overhaul the system, I am afraid that this will not be the last time we  see and read about these unnecesssary deaths.


10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. zheb
    Dec 20, 2011 @ 13:26:48

    The “pau” business has been around for ages – since my mum’s time when she got her license in the 1960s – know as “kopi-o license”. However good you are, we have to pay the “pau $” or else you can expect to fail another 2 rounds. But those days, there were not as many accidents as the present due to the huge volumn of vehicles on the road. And mainly due to alot of these young drivers – male n females alike that have this “kiasu” mentality. I hope this tragic accident will reawaken parents of new drivers to be more responsible towards their children. I for one will definitely not allow my 17 year-old to drive outstation without an experience driver nor would I allow my 17 year-old to be a passenger of a 17 year-old driver. If need to choose, I would hold the parents of both the driver n the passengers responsible for this tragic accident as we parents have to be aware of the capabilities of our children.


  2. CYC
    Dec 20, 2011 @ 15:36:58

    “Pao” business is inline with PM’s philosophy of “you help me, i help you”. Kong Cho Ha will never be brave enough to change and the system shall remain till the corrupt culture is eradicated. “Pao” business is not only confine to driving test but most professional related works also share the same business culture. You don’t pao , u are out of jobs.


  3. BeWildered
    Dec 20, 2011 @ 16:21:26

    I have taken driving tests both on Malaysia and in USA. The emphasis of the test are drastically different.
    In Malaysia, the driving test is to test whether a person knows how to drive and passing the test will be given the driving license. In the USA driving test, the test is on whether the person can drive SAFELY or not, and not about whether the person can drive or not. Many of my friends from Malaysia and Singapore have their country of origin driving license for more than 20 years and failed the US driving test on the first time, and have to come back to do the retest. For example, whe the car come to a stop sign, if the driver does not bring the car to a complete stop, he will fail the test right away. And if the driver does not turn his head first to look at the blind spot when changing lane, he fails the test on the spot. It is all about the attributes of driving safely, not just know how to drive.
    This difference between the driving test in these two countries forms a deep impression on me and it is a cultural shock for many Malaysians living in the States.
    There is no such thing as PAO for driving test in USA. And the test is free, you bring ur own car, whatever car for the class of license u want to get.
    The fact is drivers in Malaysia know little about safe driving but majority are also Gia Su drivers, must potong, and cut from the left, even using the shoulder of the road to potong. Whenever there are festive holidays, the highways become death traps and many innocent people die for nothing. This is a national tragedy, indeed! This is one area of Tak Boleh, for Malaysian!


  4. disgusted
    Dec 20, 2011 @ 17:19:30

    We can talk till the cows come home to the condos, but the UBI KAYU fellow in charge will still be a Ubi kayu. Compare this rooted minister with his predecessors…


  5. CYC
    Dec 20, 2011 @ 19:50:02

    I really enjoyed driving in NZ during my recent visit there. Drove for about 2000km all together yet so refreshing simply due to low traffic volume and more importantly drivers mannerism and law abiding attitude.

    Disgusted, to be fair, all ministers were from MCA. All also kayu, no ubi.


  6. CYC
    Dec 20, 2011 @ 19:50:34

    sorry, should be all transport ministers……


  7. Taikohtai
    Dec 21, 2011 @ 10:57:41

    ‘Any damn fool can drive fast’. This was told to me by a police officer who tested me back in 1979 in NZ and I can never forget his kind advice.
    In Queensland, one must be 17 years old to drive. After passing the written and practical exam, the newbie is issued with a P plate for a year before graduating to full licence. Despite better roads and laws, too many still die each year from accidents. Speed, DUI (driving under influence of drugs/alcohol) and fatigue are main reasons. And there is no such thing as kopi duit here if a traffic offence is committed.
    Traffic jams are quite isolated except peak hours. Toll roads are few and clearly indicated. Overall, most drivers are courteous and allow right of way to pedestrians.
    Indicators are employed often but not the horn :). Driving in Brisbane and Gold Coast is a world of difference from KL driving indeed.


  8. Wave33
    Dec 21, 2011 @ 11:20:10

    License is not enough, experience counts.

    I would suggest after passing driving license, the driver only can drive if he/she has a front seated passenger whom has a valid driving license for more than 3 years. In force for a year probation period, not allowed to drive alone or carry passengers. I remember when I got my license, I was prevented from driving alone (let alone carrying passenger) until I have proven myself.

    It is not only reckless driving that causes accident but failure to practice defensive driving also causes accidents. Malaysian whom wants right of way will not practice defensive driving or compromise of giving way because of RIGHT OF WAY. This what we called Ketuanan Jalan. Defensive driving develops from a person attitude on the road whom will cool down from a challenge. Women (sorry, is not sexism), have you ever argue with a women, they will skin you alive without pulling back for a defeat. It is nature for women to be designed that way, this attitude will continue on the road for being right of way. On the other hand, men being egoistic all the time and likes to show-off, would ended up being a reckless driver. Satan need both sexes of “inadequate” behaviour to create an accident.


  9. vic71bc
    Dec 21, 2011 @ 12:17:35

    Hi, to add to what BeWildered wrote, a driver must stop his car when a pedestrian step on the zebra crossing.A pedestrian is king. A car is just a mean of transport. Any Tom, Dick, or Harry can afford a BeM or Marc, no big deal. Also a probationer driver cannot drive a car without a qualified driver by his side. And yes, many of the Malaysians, be they having 10 or 20 yrs of driving experience in Mlysia, failed their driving test here in NZ on their first attempt, because their driving attitudes are wrong,
    On the topic of corruption please watch this video:×9/video/family+trees/video.html?v=2173509506&p=1&s=dd#video


  10. Dr Hsu
    Dec 21, 2011 @ 12:28:03

    Yes, I do enjoy driving in Australia because the drivers are so courteous. Most will follow the speed limit , so as long as you just follow other cars on the road, you can be assured that you won’t go above speed limits. Same in NZ.

    Basically they are not so kiasu as us. And because there is no jams, there is really no need to rush too.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: