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Monday, December 28, 2020

Social activist questions PWD's special treatment of KJ pothole accident

 “Why the double standard? Is it because those affected in the past were ordinary people, not a minister?"  - NSTP/Courtesy from  Khairy Jamaluddin Twitter

KUALA LUMPUR: A social activist has hit out at the Public Works Department for its "special treatment" of Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, who was injured after hitting a pothole while cycling in Banting on Sunday.

PWD had apologised to Khairy for the condition of the road in Jalan Kampung Sri Cheeding, prompting Safe Community Association chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye to question why it was that no apology had been forthcoming from the department before this when many people had been injured because of potholes.

"Many have had similar incidents in the past and some had sustained severe injuries, and some even lost their lives as a result of potholes on the road, but there were no apologies issued to them.

"Why the double standard? Is it because those affected in the past were ordinary people, not a minister?"

Lee said, regardless if it is a minister or not, civil servants must be fair and just in their responses.

"As a department or agency serving the public, local councils and government departments, not only the PWD but all those related to the public sector management should be equal and fair to all.

"In light of this recent incident, I wish to propose to the government to come up with a 'Zero pothole policy' for all Malaysian roads, including rural roads," said the former chairman of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

Lee suggested the government form a special squad to check for potholes and conduct regular roadworthiness checks on all roads as a possible solution to pothole accidents.

He said this policy would be a good move to reduce the number of accidents as well as help to shorten the potholes repair time significantly.

"The real problem here is actually the poor quality of products used by some contractors. Those of lower quality are not up to the standard requirement set by the government and that causes reoccurring potholes," he added.

He said, apart from public awareness of road safety, local authorities should also form individual teams where each must travel the pothole prone roads to make sure it is good and report daily.

"The authorities should also inspect the material used by their contractors to repair potholes, whether they are indeed of good quality and meet the standards". - NST

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