(Petaling Jaya, Wednesday): Nine people were killed on Malaysian roads yesterday, the 14th and final day of the "Ops Statik", bringing the total to 196 casualties compared with 260 during the period of Ops Statik 1 last year.
I am shocked that the authorities can feel proud about the results of the Ops Statik II, as it is likely that the total traffic accidents and deaths this year are likely to be higher than for last year’s Hari Raya and Chinese New year festivities when the road casualties for the Chinese New Year next month are included.
The Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should take over as Chairman of the Cabinet Committee on Road Safety as the country cannot afford a Transport Minister who is indifferent to the alarming road accidents and deaths in the country.
In the past 14 days of the Ops Statik II, as Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik should have been the most visible Minister to spearhead the campaign for road safety and turn the tide against hundreds of Malaysians killed during the double festivities of Hari Raya and Chinese New Year every year.
But Liong Sik was nowhere to be seen or heard - showing a shocking indifference to what should be one of the most important campaigns in his Ministry every year. Liong Sik has been Transport Minister for 13 years and have long lost interest in the issue of road safety to end the road carnage in the country. This was why he could make cynical statements like:
"We have done what others have been doing around the world. In spite of numerous road safety campaigns the number of accident cases have been increasing. What else can we do, if people want to die?"
If Liong Sik is now feeling very jaded for being in the Transport Ministry for 13 years, he should then reliquish his Ministry to somehow who is more committed to fight and win the war against road carnage, especially during the festivities.