Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Getting Ready for Hariraya
Can you see the roadblock?
While the Muslims have started to prepare for Aidil Fitri, many government agencies I'm sure, are doing the same. RTM with the preparation of Its Hariraya extravaganzas , the Police with it Operasi "Tangkap" ( call it by any other name it involves issuing millions
At least we don.t see this in Malaysia
of summons), RTD with its check-ups on the safety of buses, SPAD on the
issuance of special "Balik Kampung" transport licences, Ministry of Domestic Industry and Consumerism with its check-ups to ensure there will be enough supply of essential food items and that prices are kept under proper control etc.
The interesting question to ask is: are the special preparation going to help people enjoy the Hariraya or cause a lot of problems and heartaches? Why such a silly question? Becsuse in trying to help prople we could be causing more problems and misery. And it eould be silly not to think of the possibilities.
Let's start with RTM special Hariraya programs to compete with other private sector stations. Don't we feel sometime that the shows are just "more of the same " very elaborate and costly but not innovative and exciting enough to hold our attention?. The elaborately dressed comperes often bore us with some of their antics and not-so-funny jokes. The "postcards" shots are still RTM's favorites angle without capturing the depth and mystery of the actions on stage. Sometimes the more simple props used by TV3 appear more captivating or intriguing.
More worrisome is the Police Op Sikap or whatever it's called which has been carried out every hariraya witout much success in reducing the death toll on the road. Every road block causes serious jam-ups. It would appear that issuing out the summons and collecting the fines imposed (which by the way, have been jacked up like the prices of everything else) have become the focus of attention - NOT making the errant driver ashamed of his or her infringement of the traffic regulations, become aware of the danger he or she caused to others and promise not to be inconsiderate again or go to jail. I think a public scolding can achieve the latter objectives better than paying a few hundred or a thousand ringgit fine, which incidently means nothing to the rich but can cause misery to the poorer road users.
RTD's or JPJ's action to stop buses considered not roadworthy from ferrying their passengers home for the hariraya, is praiseworthy from the road safety point if view. But it's inhuman if alternative means of transport are not provided to take them home to join their relatuves and friends for the festuve occasion. Stopping less-than-ideal drivers from taking the wheel has the same effect as holding back the buses. Passengers will be stranded and their plans to go home foiled.
I'm not saying that the checking should not be done but that it should be done well BEFORE the hariraya. The same goes for the Poluce. Why hold the road blocks when the traffic is at its peak? Why not step up the checks on licences and giving tbe speedsters the rap or the ticket well before the huge balik kampung traffic flow begins? By the way the speed limit is another problem. The slow traffic crawl because of the very slow drivers or speed kimits on straight and clear roads can cause more accidents than allowing drivers to exercise their discretion.
In brief therefore, can't the authorities involved in controlling the movement of vehickes and human beings for the hariraya get to work well BEFORE the deluge begins? Don't start checking this and stopping that when people have begun to balek kampung in a joyous mood. Your well meaning efforts could just become an aggravation and a kill-joy. Stop, warn and rap the traffic offenders by all means but do not do things that can cause jam-ups and prople being stranded or made unable to join their relatives and friends. All these can spoil the mood and spirit of Hariraya.