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.


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norzah said...

Tq for the trouble.

abdulhalimshah said...

From my past experience, driving along the North-South highway on Hari Raya holidays was a real hassle year in year out. To top it all, the bumper to bumper traffic between KL and Seremban can make the journey which normally takes an hour or so can be double or treble the time for no apparent reason and not a single traffic Policeman in sight to ease the situation made by inconsiderate drivers using the emergency lanes without a care in the world. The response by Plus is also the same throughout the past decade and there dont seem to be any new ideas from them as how to tackle the problem. So my only response is to stay put and either travel before or after the peak periods for the Hari Raya.

norzah said...

I think mamy would be doing the same Akhi, travel well before or after Hariraya. But you know what will happen when mamy people decide to do the same? We will have traffic jams well before and also aftebthe fedtive season.

We've no choice but to tolerate the jam. But have you ecperienced jostlingbalong a bumper-to-bumper jam only to gind out that it was caused by a police road block to check licences, or just the motor cyclists? Imagine going through a mile or more of the jam only to see the motorcyclists being waived aside for inspection. Can't that be done at some other time and not when the traggic is horrible? Must roadblocks be held during hariraya unless a dangerous criminal had just been let loose?

I thinkn he police and JPJ must think about that.

Al-Manar said...

Looking at our traffic problem is to me somewhat like trying to figure out why our standard of English has been deteriorting - the teachers or the text books?

I did not know until recently that one cannot go for RIMV driving licence test without getting through a driving school, which is a rip off. In my part of the world a driving school seems to be making very good money. Yet on the road I can see a person driving merrily with a long line of vehicles tailing behind. What does the instructor sitting beside the new driver do?

One spends a lot of money but the standard of driving of a learner driver is atrocious. I wonder where the money really goes to.

We claim to have universities of taraf antara bangsa and highways as good as any in the world but the graduates and drivers do not bear witness to our claim.

I passed my driving lesson in Singpore in 1961 after being made to drive along the busy North Bridge Road in a car when automatic gearing system was unheard of. And I never went through a driving school but months of driving with a relative. I knew if I made the traffic crawl behind me I would fail. If I failed to hold my car still by foot control on both the gear and the break while waiting for light to turn green on a road sloping upward, I would fail for sure. If
I slammed the footbreak when I heard a sudden hand-clap by the tester, and the car stalled, I would fail. And you had to perform all these driving a non-automatic car.

There was, then, no 'go-between' relationship between a candidate and a tester. How many deaths do we hear of car racing drivers speeding in a circuit? Why?

Akhi, we have problems, as you rightly say. We are trying to solve fatal accidents by hefty fines for speeding and spot checks around festive seasons!

norzah said...

You hit the problems right on the nose, Akhi Pakcik Hassan. the standard of driving as we oldtimers observe is atrocious - hugging the road, cutting in and our w/o signal ( before even the lanes are not marked), cutting the queue, overtaking on double lines etc.
Overseas, these offences are seriously viewed and you get a ticket or a nasty tick-off for them. But over here more time and money are spent on nabbing speedsters. Lorries blocking the right lane or spewing black smoke are seldom or never booked.

The driving schools and academies are really making money without improving drivers and driving habits.One can also pass the tests for an extra fee.

So it's back to the question of law enforcement. And this seems to be done more through roadblocks than through more stringent conditions for getting a driving license. Let's see what will happen this festive season with the promise to have no roadblocks.

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