(Petaling Jaya, Saturday): The Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik should send out a clear message that he cannot have a happy Chinese New Year unless the Ops Statik campaign this year can succeed and ensure that the total road deaths for the two festivities of Hari Raya Aidilfriti and Chinese New Year are less than those of last year.
When the Ops II and Ops III operations were announced for the Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Chinese New Year festivities this year, Malaysians were told that the authorities were set to ensure that the road accidents, injuries and deaths during the two festivities this year would be less than those recorded for the two festivities last year.
This is threatening to be a big failure and a national disaster. Even before the Chinese New Year proper begins, there have already been 51 road deaths in the first three days of Ops III.
In Ops Statik I last year, there were 9,901 road accidents and 274 road fatalities for the two festivities.
The Ops II last month during the Hari Raya Aidilfitri this year recorded 9,500 accidents and 203 deaths.
In the first three day of Ops III to coincide with the balik kampung rush for the Chinese New Year, there were 1,731 accidents and 51 deaths.
This would mean that the number of road accidents for the
two festivities this year already exceed those recorded last year, i.e.
11,231 accidents this year as compared to 9,901 accidents recorded last
year although the Ops III has only entered its third day. The
number of road deaths for the two festivities this year is still
below the toll of last year, but only by the slim figure of 20, i.e. 254
deaths to date recorded for this year as compared to 274 deaths last year.
I do not know whether the Transport Minister had acted on my proposal two days ago that he convene an emergency meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Road Safety to develop an urgent strategy to ensure that the number of road deaths during this year’s Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Chinese New Year would not exceed last year’s toll, or if this is already a lost battle, to cut down every avoidable road death during the rest of the Chinese New Year holidays.
I know this has never been done before,and the Cabinet or a Cabinet
Committee had never been convened to meet in emergency meeting when
the whole country is in a holiday mood - but national duty requires such
commitment and dedication by top public officials.
This is why I suggest that Liong Sik should set an example of supreme public service by sending out a clear message that he cannot have a happy Chinese New Year unless the Ops Statik campaign this year can ensure that the total road deaths for the two festivities of Hari Raya Aidilfriti and Chinese New Year are less than those of last year