Wednesday, June 24, 2009

YB Tan Joo Phoi of SUPP, where are you hiding?

I received an email from a 3rd Mile resident to YB Tan Joo Phoi.

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.

My beloved dad and the State Assemblyman Mr Tan Joo Pooi, that let Batu Kawa, Kuching down.

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… 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…… 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

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Where is the Pedestrian Overhead Bridge?

This morning, I went down with a young woman to view a traffic light junction at Mile 3 (in front of Sunny Hill School) who has lost her father on May 23 this year in a fatal accident.

The girl is still in mourning when she told me the story of her father being knocked down by a high speed Proton Waja as she was very close with her father. Stating her father’s death as senseless, she believed that if the overhead bridge was reconstruct back after the flyover was done, her father would still be with her today.

I learned that two deaths had occurred there. And there was a recent accident where a pedestrian was badly hurt. Doesn’t the authority think that it was time to do something about it or they want more death to occur there?

It takes a lot of courage to go back to the site where her father lay dead after a car crashed into him when he was crossing the road in the early morning to have breakfast with friends. It was the old man’s favourite habit in the morning.

The residents staying nearby Sunny Hill school ever went to see a SUPP leader to request that something should be done to improve the condition, the SUPP leader said there was already a pedestrian walk and that there was not much the party can do. What sort of person would say that? SUPP leaders are very good at playing "TAI CHI" when confronting with people's problems.

I get so upset when inefficiency or the cries of help went unheard by politicians in Barisan Nasional. Yes, there was an overhead bridge before the third mile flyover was built. Where is the overhead bridge after the flyover was done?

A faded pedestrian walk with a short timing was placed in front of the traffic light junction. Imagine an old man trying to run across the pedestrian walk at the busy road junction. Many of the times, the vehicles that travel from Batu Kawa towards Kuching direction drive in a very high speed. Speed breakers should be placed to tackle the problem.

The authority must not forget that there is a vast housing area behind the Sunny Hill School and almost everyone used the junction to cross the road to go to the market on the other side. The parking is always full there and residents tend to park their vehicles at homes and prefer to walk across the road.

I am writing this in the hope that the relevant authority would do something positive before more lives are lost.

Chong's house got thrown with Molotov Cocktails

My peaceful drive to work this morning was shattered by a call from one of my comrades, MP Chong Chieng Jen, who told me that Molotov cocktails were thrown at his house at Central Road.

Risking a speeding ticket from the neighbourhood friendly policeman, I drove at neck breaking speed and finally arrived in one piece at Chong’s house at 7.55 am. The police were already there, and I feared for the worst. After a while though, I found that the men in blue did not do anything which appeared constructive to me, but instead only asked Chong to lodge a report at One Stop Police Station, Simpang Tiga.

Going round the house compound, I noticed a burned potted plant near the entrance door and splash of what smells like kerosene splattered on the floor, which was littered with broken glass. There was also two broken bottles near the window and door on the other side of the house. It looks like the perpetrators who used the Molotov cocktail were planning on imposing maximum damage as the other bottle appeared to be aimed at the other side of the door. I am relief that no one was hurt in the melee.

I am sad and angry of the whole incident if, suspicious as it appears, the dastardly act was perpetrated by a political rival. To resort to such tactics is just like hitting below the belt and this is the first time it has happened to a Sarawak DAP politician.

If indeed it was the SUPP, our arch political rival, going to such extend, I am sorry to think that they had to stoop so low and take such desperate measures.

As a politician, I believe that all our “fighting” are to be done in a gentleman way. We are supposed to fight for the rights of the people who elected us in the first place.

If it is true that this dastardly action has been originated and planned by our political rivals, then let the people decide who they want at the ballot boxes in the next election.

I hope that the SUPP would be gentlemen enough to do things through legal means and avoid such unwanted actions. Instead they should concentrate on trying to serve the people by improving their lives. That way, they would still have voters on their side.

I also called on the police to improve the security in the state. If the police have been doing what they were supposed to and take action in fighting crimes, such tactics would not be used to intimidate politicians.

Trying to burn down a politician’s house is really the lowest of the low tactic to be considered.