(Adam. Ready to cruise for the coming festive holidays. 10 kph slower of course. Notice the maniacal grin?)
Deepavali. Hari Raya Aidil Fitri. Christmas. New Year. Chinese New Year. The annual culling season is about to begin. The body bags are laid out in readiness. The meat wagons are fuelled and ready to rush out to collect the carcasses off the slaughter house tarmac. Imams, priests and monks practise their funeral chants. Families prepare for the mourning which they know is inevitable.
The nation looks forward to the day when the culling practice will end. When the dumb, the reckless, the ill-maintained, the badly designed will be totally annihilated and the whole country will be populated by those who deserve to be alive.
Innocents will be culled along with the guilty. The nation will mourn them as martyrs. The statisticians will refer to them as collateral damage. They will be forgotten. The blood will fuel change.
Huh!!!??? Eh? Sorry, sorry, sorry. I was just reading the newspaper reports about the reduction of speed limit on federal and state roads for the coming festive season “balik kampung” rush. My mind suddenly wandered off into this grim idea for a fictional horror story.
Fictional horror story? Not really. It is very real. Each year the death toll on Malaysian roads continue to rise during the mad holidays rush. And each time the horrors occur statements are made. Politicians put on their sad faces and make speeches. Promises are made to make things better only to be forgotten with the next day’s headlines. Ops this or that will be launched. And yet the bodies continue to pile up the statistics.
So this year the major attempt at reducing this needless tragedy is to reduce the speed limit on federal and state roads by 10 kilometers per hour. From 90 kph to 80 kph. Pardon me if I don’t stand up and applaud. Actually, the whole thing is quite laughable.
Since he took over as the Inspector-General of Police I have admired Tan Sri Musa’s optimism. He’s got a big job ahead and he’s really gung ho about achieving what his predecessors have failed to do. He vowed a fight against corruption in the police force. He promised to weed out all the weak elements in the force. He said that police personnel who do not do their job will be punished. And no favoritism will be shown. After a while I tended to believe him or at least give the man the benefit of the doubt la. That is, until he made the suggestion to reduce the speed limit on federal and state roads in order to reduce the number of fatal road accidents during festive periods. Ah so.
Remember the day that big news came out? I am sure you do. First, the one-time people’s hero turned golf-playing Mr. Establishment, Lee Lam Thye came out and said it won’t work and might even cause more accidents because people might get bored with the slow speed and do more stupid things on the roads. Then the Prime Minister himself came out and said that it was a great idea, Of course after that everybody nodded their heads la. Ya, ya, ya, good idea.
But I am thinking. How is 10 kph slower for a couple of weeks going to make an iota of difference to the death toll?
How are you going to get to slow down, motorists who break every traffic rule in the book on a daily basis.
How are you going to get to slow down, motorists who got their driving licences simple because they’d learned to start the engine, put the car in gear and go forward and reverse. Okay la, some of them even learned to park.
How are you going to get to slow down, motorists who run red lights right in front of traffic policemen.
How are you going to get to slow down, motorists who use the left lane of a major expressway as their personal parking lane.
How are you going to get to slow down, motorists who think practising lane discipline using the turn indicators are things only 'pondans' do.
I could go on but I think you get the drift. These “authorities” continue to come up with their “brilliant” ideas. They’re either thinking we’re really stupid enough to believe what they say. Or they are sadists who get pleasure from pushing their tokkok in our faces.
Right. Make the announcement. 10 kph slower from this Thursday. YESSIR! All Malaysian motorists will obey the order.
Well, maybe they will. They will slow down from 140 kph to 130 kph. So there. Speed limit? Ya, ya, ya got. My souped up, giant chrome exhaust pipe-d kap cai/Kancil/Satria/Waja/Gen2 can reach speeds of 120/150/180/200/220 kph. But that’s it la. That’s the limit. Cannot go faster already.
Actually, when you think about it, for many, many years now the government has not been able to do anything about the appalling habits of Malaysian drivers. Except to churn out more and more bad drivers each year. And launching more Operasi this and that to keep us entertained or irritated. So don’t hold your breath. Nothing new is going to happen this year either.
Okay, enough of this. Go service and tune up your your weapons...I mean vehicles. The culling starts in two weeks. Enjoy.