(Penang, Monday): The Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik should declare a day of national mourning as the number of road deaths during the two festivities of Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Chinese New Year have exceeded those of last year, even before the start of the Chinese New Year proper.
The fifth day of Ops Statik III on Friday registered the highest death toll in a single day, which is even higher than any of the daily fatalities recorded during Ops Statik II last month - with 21 road deaths and 704 road accidents.
In the first five day of Ops III to coincide with the balik kampung rush for the Chinese New Year, there were 3,017 accidents and 88 deaths.
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 has proved to be a big failure and a national disaster.
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.
With the first five days of Ops III recording 3,017 accidents and 88 deaths, this would mean that the number of road accidents for the two festivities this year have exceeded those recorded last year, i.e. 12,517 accidents and 291 road deaths this year as compared to 9,901 accidents and 274 road deaths recorded last year although the Ops III has only entered its fifth day.
How many more road accidents and road deaths would there be by the end of Ops III?
Federal traffic deputy chief Assistant Commissioner Azizan Mohd Aras yesterday expressed disappoinment and disgust at the attitude of irresponsible drivers which caused the highest death toll.
Malaysians are even more disappointed and disgusted that the Transport Minister and the Chairman of the Cabinet Committee on Road Safety, Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik, has completely washed his hands and responsibility over the issue of road safety - completely numb and indifferent to the alarming increase of the toll of road accidents and deaths!
Liong Sik should propose at the Cabinet meeting on February 24 that the Cabinet Committee on Road Safety headed by him should be dissolved as it has become totally defunct and irrelevant to the campaign on road safety in Malaysia.