On ‘balik kampung’…

Today they announced in the news that the ‘temporary’ speed limit reduction for the festive season is going to be ‘not-so-temporary’… They’ve decided to reduce all speed limits by 10km/h across the board, especially on highways, from now till January! Think of crawling at 20km/h in front of the countless schools people will drive by this Raya time… The move was proposed by our ‘beloved’ PM, who supposes that it’s better to be safe and slow… Or is it slow and safe? Same difference 😛

Now, I don’t know about you, but imagine the madness this move will cause especially during the mass exodus of the Deeparaya holidays when millions of folks crisscross Malaysian roads in every conceivable direction. Town folk will be heading home to kampung, kampung folk will be coming out to town, and then the rest of the shebang not celebrating Raya or Deeps will be taking the time to go holiday la, travel and see Cameron Highlands la, and God knows where else…

Even at the best of times, it is typical for the jams to stretch for hundreds of kilometers. No kidding! There was a year I drove back to Kota Bharu, and the jam entering Kelantan stretched all the way to Gua Musang, almost 200 kilometers out of the city limits of Kota Bharu. This with people driving at breakneck speed. Now picture this – Drivers slowing down to the requisite 40km/h so that they don’t fined by the policemen hiding in the bushes and making it almost impossible to overtake, and bus drivers with their loads crawling up hills because they got no momentum, and then don’t forget that the travelling masses need to pee, eat and stuff their faces all along the way, stretching even the best infrastructure to bursting seams.

It’s all good if you’re on the PLUS highways, but even that there’s no guarantee that the toilets haven’t overflowed when you get to Tapah R&R. It’s worse on the trunk roads, where we’re subject to the mercy of stall operators and petrol stations which are far and few in between for our pee stops. Hey, at least on PLUS roads it’s relatively straight compared to the winding ‘country’ roads.
OK, I’ll stop ranting now… My point for today is that sometimes people open their yaps without thinking, regardless how high on the totem pole they sit. Pak Lah darling, why don’t you consider the roles of bad drivers in causing accidents? Sometimes, no, it’s most of the time, stupidity kills. Not speed. Perhaps we should consider banning bad drivers from taking to the roads this holiday season. This way everyone can drive faster, safer and with less hassles and headaches all around.

Being high on the totem pole, people who yak too much (and get press time) and think they know what is best for the ‘rakyat’ have never actually experienced being a rakyat. Just take a look at the PM’s convoy, or even the DPM’s convoy making hoolabaloo with the escorts and what nots cutting through traffic like hot knife through cold butter. Maybe, just maybe they should try being one of us common people, and drive themselves home through the mad traffic this Raya. Then they’d know how ridiculous their ideas are, eh?

Praying for smarter people, with more cow sense to be on the top of the food chain next time around – Jasmine.


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