Hoping that through this email, the local authorities as well as the relevant ministry can take immediate steps to improve the horrible condition of the 3rd Mile traffic light junction before more lives are taken away.
23rd May 2009 will be etched in my memory forever.
Having received a tearful call from my sister in Malaysia, asking that we return soonest as dad was involved in a car accident, I stumbled out of bed, called mum, called my uncle but to no avail. Not quite grasping the extent of how my life will forever be changed, I racked my brains for the easiest way to get flight tickets on a Saturday morning.
The next shrill ring from my mobile delivered the blow……dad had died, dad is gone. Forever gone……but why? how? Dad had been walking that route daily for the past 10 years……I had so many questions…….No one should have to receive such a cruel call……no one should have to die the way that dad died – a tragic road accident where dad was a pedestrian hit by a car, his head and limbs damaged from the impact.
The hours that followed that earth-shattering phone call went by in a blur……the long emotionally arduous journey back to my childhood home will now always be marred with a tinge of sadness, a tinge of anger…..anger at the state that had let me down. A place where I worked hard, paid my taxes dutifully, even defended the need for everyone to be honest about their taxes as I wanted to see my beloved state progress…..now I realize, this was but, a misappropriated love.
The subsequent days passed by with us siblings and mum in a grief-stricken daze going through the motions, struggling to say our goodbyes to dad, questioning the cruel deal that was dealt to dad and us, questioning why such an young driver, who was reported shy of 18 years young, had to be so careless….perhaps he will live with the guilt of killing one man, but I wonder whether he comprehends in his young mind that he has robbed a wife of a life-long companion of more than 40 years, he has robbed a family of a dad, a grandfather, a brother, an uncle, so suddenly, so prematurely …..we will never be able to share our big moments with dad around, our hearts will always break a little every time we return to our childhood home……..my view of the State Assemblyman representing 3rd mile area in Kuching, Mr Tan Joo Pooi is also enlightened.
Days later, I found out that dad’s accident was the second case in a similar spot at the 3rd mile bazaar traffic lights. A similar tragedy occurred a year ago to another elderly man.
State Assemblyman, Mr. Tan Joo Pooi, where are in you in all this?
• Have you ensure that the roads designed such that the driver’s tendency to over-speed to make a green light is avoided? Where are the surveillance cameras like those in KL, where are the police enforcement? Where are the stiffer penalties?
• What have you done to encourage pedestrians which can decongest the horrific traffic conditions & parking at 3rd mile?
• Are the timers for pedestrians adequate to allow a safe crossing, including the slower elderly folk?
I am reminded yet again; this is the 2nd fatality in a span of 1 year! Get out from your cosy cocoon, Mr Tan Joo Pooi! As the location where dad was knocked down was not new, what have you, Mr Tan Joo Pooi as the representative for this area done since last year? What have you tried to do for people in Batu Kawa & 3rd Mile Kuching?
• Mr Tan Joo Pooi, is it just a statistic for you? Is it easier just say it’s futile to improve as people will not adopt the improvements suggested? Are you, as a politician, not in a position to educate, to inculcate, to influence? If you, Mr. Tan are as passive, helpless and useless as you seem to be, then woe is our area and all areas represented by state assemblymen with traits like yours. You have abused the social responsibility entrusted to you. You need to step aside till a suitable replacement is found.
• Mr Tan Joo Pooi, act before the next fatality!
• Are the sacrifices of the elderly, immaterial when they reach their golden years? Are they not worth your time and effort to improve the situation as an area becomes more congested and chaotic as 3rd mile has over the years? Where are the funds accumulated from taxes used in the country? How many more lives need to be destroyed before you wake up to improve the situation at 3rd mile bazaar?
As I spent my time leafing through the local papers, I see the government willing to spend money to bring back fallen heroes from abroad – very noble gesture indeed, but what about a bountiful service to the living? I drive past the beautiful new golden DUN building (Kuching, Sarawak) and I balk at the costs incurred - what about spending money for improvement of lives of the general wider public who contributed so much to enable such exorbitant amounts to be spent by the ruling government for a lifeless building benefiting a few elites for perhaps no more than 1 month in a year.
I also plead fellow Sarawakians to wake up and start aggressively voting uncaring, useless YB’s and politicians out of office the next time round. Perhaps this is the only way for any wisdom to ever permeate and prevail among some of the current echelons of power. YBs, you are voted by people and are entrusted to take care of the public’s welfare. Your powers come from people, as such, from the people, to the people.
So Sarawakians, I urge you, come alive! These BN/SUPP YBs or leaders, should have people's interests in their heart, and look into whatever complaints seriously, take immediate actions to prevent the same thing from occurring in future, not to brush aside people's voices / complaints lightly. Accidents do happen, but tragedy can always be avoided if they would have taken precautions after the 1st accident which happened there. I understand that Dato Alfred Yap (ex-Supp YB and ex-Sarawak cabinet assistant minister) living nearby Batu Kawa area had at once received complaints from the people year ago about the traffic situation at 3rd mile area, but he ignored it.
I miss dad terribly, I still half expect him to walk in the door returning from his favourite past-time, chit-chatting with his coffee buddies at 3rd mile or to come into our childhood home from tending his garden. I still wish this was a bad nightmare I could wake up from……if nothing, I hope our loss, our dad’s life would count for a beginning of a revival of our land, our government and Sarawakians in speaking-up.
We chant Sarawak boleh!, Malaysia boleh!, Mr Tan Joo Pooi, let’s proudly boleh for something that is beneficial and positively life-changing for the wider general public at 3rd mile Kuching for a change!
3rd Mile, Batu Kawa, Kuching