Saturday, November 10, 2012

AES SAVES LIVES. We should not only support it's IMPLEMENTATION, but, also OBEY the TRAFFIC LAWS.

For N. Gogilaah, 16, this year's Deepavali will never be the same again. Last March, her 41-year-old father was tragically killed in a road accident. In fact, there will be no celebration at all for the family for a year as Hindu customs forbid the bereaved family to do so.

Gogilaah is among thousands of other children going through the physical, psychological, emotional and economic devastation that results from accidents on our roads. The loss of loved ones - especially in road accidents - leaves deep emotional scars for people regardless of age. Talking with Gogilaah and her mother about the experience, it is clear that they're using the grief to develop a whole new appreciation for life and learn to treasure every second they have on earth.

The young family stays positive. They are tough, warm-hearted, loving and accepting. A bright student at her school, Gogilaah now takes care of her little brother and sister while her mother, Shanthy, runs a small food stall in Puchong. It took some time for them to adjust to this new life. Her late father was a mechanic and sole breadwinner for the family, and his untimely passing brought the ultimate shock to the lives of the four people he left behind.

He was driving home from work when the accident happened. Gogilaah received a phone call at 5 pm from her mother informing that her dad had been involved in an accident. When she arrived at the hospital one hour later, she was told that her father was in serious condition. At 7 pm that fateful day, her father had left her forever.

The family tries to put themselves together despite all this. "My father was a good man. He was a good father to me, and a good husband to my mother," said the teenager in fluent English. Scoring 8As in last year's PMR, Gogilaah is undoubtedly the pearl of the family.

"My father always told me to be the best at what I do. I was deeply sad when he left us, but I know I should be strong and help my family to go through this experience," she added.

"She wants to help out at the stall but I told her to stay at home and concentrate on her studies," said her mother Shanty, 36, with a gracious smile. She could not hide her admiration and hope for her first born who wants to become a paediatrician.

"She's already doing a great job in taking care of her little brother and sister at home," Shanthy added.

Despite the positive spirit the family shows in the aftermath of a tragedy, one could not ignore the tinge of frustration heard in their voices.

"There are too many cars on our roads today," Gogilaah lamented, "and a lot of people are driving dangerously."

Her mother concurred. "We have the best roads in our country, but sometimes we also have the worst drivers. They are endangering other peoples' lives."

With the arrival of the Festival of Lights, the two strong individuals I met recently called upon all Malaysians to put safety on top of their list. By sharing their experience, they hope that other people will always obey traffic laws and be responsible behind the wheel. They do not wish for other people to experience what they have gone through.

According to the statistics provided by The Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS) on their website, there were 20,188,565 registered vehicles in Malaysia in 2010. There were 414,421 road accidents with 6,872 road deaths reported the same year.

Most of these accidents happened around festivities. It is ironic that people die around the time that families gather around to share joy and laughter. I remember reading The Star last week when it reported three people were killed on a Deepavali shopping trip in Kedah.

How can we stop all these tragedies? How can we reduce traffic accidents? These questions have been around for ages. To say that there’s really nothing we can do about it is defeatist talk; and I am always the one who opt for optimism.

The recent implementation of the Automatic Enforcement System (AES) by the Government is nothing but timely. It is not the 100% solution to ensure road safety, but at this point, I will take the measly 5% if it is proven to save lives.

I sincerely do not understand why it seems that half thepopulation of this country are against it. First and foremost, we want safer roads and we do not want people to lose their lives on the road. The Occham's razor applies here, in my opinion; the simplest explanation is sometimes the best explanation.

Malaysians only obey the law when we know we are being watched. We don't litter when we see enforcement officers around. We quickly put away our phones or buckle our seatbelts when we see traffic police in front of us. We quickly go back to work when our bosses walk in the office.

With cameras watching us, and with the fear of being caught instilled in us, we function as better citizens. Sure, that sounds like oppression but it works on the roads. It is not wrong to be afraid of the law when it could actually save lives: Our lives, and other peoples’ lives.

The story of Gogilaah and her mother and two siblings made me realize how fragile life can be. One simple mistake - sometimes it's not even ours - and our lives are forever changed.

There is really nothing more to this. The AES is a positive move, and we should accept it in a positive way. We whine and complaint all the time and want to Government to provide us with better things, and while doing that, we often compare our country with other developed countries.

But then when the Government does bring improvements, and bring in technologies from the developed countries (e.g. AES), we carry on complaining. As if we know better ways of doing it. But let’s face it; we’re only good at complaining.

The AES saves lives, and we should not only support its implementation, but obey the traffic laws as well. Remember, there are people out there who love and depend on us.


Anonymous said...

Ya saves the life of BN you numbskull. Abllodybdisgrace to the indians. Bila lagi nak cium tangan muhyiddin?

Anonymous said...


Mr. M.Pathma (Klang) said...

What a sad story... so what YB is trying to convince us is that AES will magically reduce road accident and IF AES was in place Gogilaah’s father will still be around... YB please look at country that implemented AES, accident still happened... family still suffer, surly you can find another Gogilaah alike story (p.s – I am not looking down on the pain she and her family when through, I will not wish the same even for my worst enemy, but fate is not within ones control)... in Malaysia the method AES been implemented is wrong, the place where they put the AES camera is wrong, asking one to drive 90KM/H on a 3-lane road... is aka. asking them to kill them self, I am not defending the speed-devils, they are another case, be practical... we need to review our road condition, speed limits, heavy vehicle speeds monitoring, light up our road, ensure our lorry/bus drive have enough rest... so many thing can be done to reduce accident, I know you are part of MIC, please leave the mindset that you MUST support whatever your big-brother do….. failure of MIC leader to speak on their own are the reason we are not supporting them, speak from yourself and be the voice of the people you representing... what I and my small circle of ‘votes’ think, AES is another cronies scam, by awarding to private company, they need to recover their huge investment, there will not be motivated to reduce status-qou, this will be different story if gov. does this… giving reason gov. do not have the experts is aka… telling one day, the old Putrajaya should be out-source on tender basis….