ASEAN/APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST DR JACOB GEORGE – MURDER ON MALAYSIAN ROADS! ABOUT TIME TO CHANGE THE NARRATIVE!

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“I will certainly be meeting SPAD Chairman and its Chief Executive Officer Mohd Azharuddin Mat Sah to initiate a more robust response like a suspension and revocation of the operator’s license.”

Anything less, is a travesty of justice!”

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ASEAN/APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST DR JACOB GEORGE – MURDER ON MALAYSIAN ROADS! ABOUT TIME TO CHANGE THE NARRATIVE!

How else can I put this issue that I have been deliberating for over 35 years!

Gosh, I feel so old!

After the carnage in Genting Highlands several decades ago, and me going ballistic with the then Minister of Transport, Uncle Ling over TV3, I was assured things horror will be no more!

But the nightmare continues!

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Road carnage involving public transport and heavy vehicles and the yearly carnage and horror that it brings to both victims and the nation at large?

Nothing has changed despite deaths, economic loss and how scandalous the administration and management of this industry is with their lobbyists and deep pockets!

So like most Malaysians, which includes my dear friends Syed and Chan who also have expressed, I am not the least amused that an operator of the southbound express bus rammed into 10 cars on the downhill stretch after the Menora Tunnel at Km265.8 of the North-South Expressway yesterday has 63 unpaid summonses for various traffic offenses, while the driver has nine.

And the summonses for the 51-year-old driver, who is actually the co-driver of the bus, were issued between 2011 and 2015.

So what happened to the law and the process?

Who was sleeping on the job, yet again!

No doubt under Section 42(1) of the Road Transport Act 1987, the driver has been remanded for four days to facilitate further investigations into the case!

But this is no remedy!

As usual before any real investigation initiated or forensic investigation we are told the cause was “faulty brakes” – really?

How convenient?

Recording of the mishap showed that the bus was traveling at high speed when descending the slope from the tunnel and rammed into 10 cars in front.

There were 28 passengers in the bus, as well!

This could have easily been the worst carnage Malaysia has ever seen!

So what now?

I will certainly be meeting SPAD Chairman and its Chief Executive Officer Mohd Azharuddin Mat Sah to initiate a more robust response like a suspension and revocation of the operator’s license.”

Anything less, is a travesty of justice!

What about Vicarious Liability?

Public interest demands nothing less and I am certain my dear friends at SPAD will support CASSA and my initiative here!

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ASEAN/APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST DR JACOB GEORGE – MALAYSIANS MUST RALLY BEHIND NAJIB IN WAR AGAINST TERROR EFFORTS!

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“It is therefore time, we responded putting aside other narratives that recently have brought distrust, disunity, political chaos and unnecessary suspicions all around.

It is time we supported the federal government initiative, to resurrect the 1Malaysia aspirations – that will result in a multi-racial and religious nation coming together to address a common foe and enemy of state, whose intention is to destroy our 1Malaysia way of life!”

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ASEAN/APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST DR JACOB GEORGE – MALAYSIANS MUST RALLY BEHIND NAJIB IN WAR AGAINST TERROR EFFORTS!

As expected the US Embassy in Malaysia has reminded its citizens in Malaysia “of the need for caution and awareness of personal security” following the recent Islamic State related attack on a nightclub in Puchong.

In a brief statement, the embassy noted that in the past, terrorist organizations have planned their attacks to coincide with significant dates in the calendar.

However, it admitted, it was not aware of any specific terrorist threat to US citizens in Malaysia however that – “US citizens should remain vigilant at all times while traveling.”

The US embassy went on to urge Americans to review their personal security plans, remain aware of their surroundings and monitor local news stations for updates as well as follow instructions of local authorities among others.

This is important and timely advice as even we Malaysians are shocked and saddened at what is happening to a nation that had a rich history of moderation, tolerance and significantly religious and respectful of fellow Malaysians of other religious persuasions!

Changing By The Day

But that has all changed and changing by the day!

We have locals dressing and behaving like Arabs!

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We have locals speaking in new tones, new languages, new interpretations, treating fellow Malaysians like outcasts.

We have locals fighting in Syria and embedded with terrorists groups!

Even their children are with them!

We have foreign preachers coming into a multi-racial and religious community and spurring divisions and hatred and supremacy ideologies which is dangerous unchecked!

We have incidences of the outsourcing of racist, fascist groups, actors to threaten, intimidate, and terrorize Malaysian minorities with death when they respond to protect their interests as in the federal constitution while the political leadership practices an elegant silence at these blatant verbal and emotional terrorism of one’s citizens and minorities!

We have the irresponsible and frivolous making of Police reports to intimidate, threaten, frighten minorities and others from articulating any alternative viewpoints or dissent!

Even protests by a legally constituted Malaysian inter-faith NGO addressing the radical and abusive comments on leading faiths and religious persuasions by an outsider and controversial preacher, banned in Canada and Britain and under state investigations in several other countries which includes the US, India and Bangladesh was responded with a Police report by a right wing fascist group!

It is a well-known fact that these chameleons and shenanigans know what would follow these Police reports!

Probes will commence under the outdated and draconian war remnant ordinance called the Sedition Act!

Conviction, Moral High Ground & Reasoning Lacking

Why not have the courage and conviction to use the same reasoning to protest against the countries that have banned and commenced investigations on the same religious fanatic!

Why not have the moral high ground to take it further and break off all diplomatic ties with these countries?

No, they do not have the courage to do that!

So it is time we stopped accommodating these chameleons of politics!

We have bigger fish to fry!

With the war against terrorism – we need a new script and narrative if 1Malaysia is to survive!

The nation stands a pale shadow of what it used to be in the immediate post-independence era.

Some of our self-serving politicians made certain of this!

A Common Enemy Emerges

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But now – it is time we put side the supremacist theory’s – being preached all around, as we face a common enemy who acts will hurt all in the marketplace and whose tools of destruction does not differentiate the Muslim from the Non-Muslim!

We fought many great battles before – the Japanese occupation, communist insurgency and crime.

In those battles we aligned with our security apparatus, we were the ears and eyes of the government, we fought as Malaysians but what are we today?

A nation polarized, disunited, hurt and bleeding the victims of both religious and racial attacks, slurs and belittling.

There needs to be a new paradigm shift and one that takes cognizance of a clear and present danger!

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We need leaders who will think of the Malaysian community rather than what they can grab for themselves and their families while in office!

Our political and social narrative must change and be all inclusive and not divisive as it is today!

In the global war against terrorism – we have been lucky.

But the situation is fast changing as June 28th showed!

Terrorist Among Us

The terrorists are among us and it is important that we play a part in assisting our security apparatus, our security forces to keep the nation safe!

Some of our politicians like Mara chairman Annuar Musa sounds totally ignorant and incompetent when responding to Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Zaid Hamidi’s concern that the influence of Daesh (Islamic State) was strongest in institutions of higher learning.

Annuar pathetic response to this was:

“students found to have links with terrorist movements would be expelled and their sponsorship withdrawn immediately.”

That “Students sponsored by Mara and studying abroad are not allowed to be associated with organizations that are not recognized by Mara, the Malaysian Embassy or the respective universities.”

Annuar makes it all sound so simple, and as if those who have already taken a fanatical and dangerous route of killing, blowing up innocents – men, women, children and themselves, whose radicalism have recently resulted in attacks against holiest religious sites in Saudi Arabia!

Is this kind of fanatical belief that is worried about scholarships and being expelled or arrested?

I think Annuar Musa’s statement is a classic example of how unprepared, how incompetent, how lost, we are facing this new enemy, whose ideology is far more dangerous than the Japanese occupiers, the communist and the criminal traits that have been before!

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Recapture And Support Najib’s 1Malaysia Narrative

Going forward, I can only appeal to fellow Malaysians that we recapture the ideals and notions of Premier Najib Tun Razak’s 1Malaysia narrative.

Najib has made it very clear that he was willing to provide the support and assistance to all endeavors in this direction.

As far as I can recollect, he has always provided a revolving door for discussions and made himself available, for any input that will strengthen the nation from internal and external threats.

Deputy Premier Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is no different.

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It is therefore time we responded putting aside other narratives, that recently have brought distrust, disunity, political chaos and unnecessary suspicions all around.

It is time we supported the federal government initiative, to resurrect the 1Malaysia aspirations – that will result in a multi-racial and religious nation coming together, to address a common foe whose intention is to destroy our 1Malaysia way of life!

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DR JACOB GEORGE – UK PREMIER DAVID CAMERON A STATESMAN THE DEMOCRATIC WORLD NEEDS!

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“Mr Speaker, we have a fundamental responsibility to bring our country together. In the past few days we have seen despicable graffiti daubed on a Polish community centre. We’ve seen verbal abuse hurled against individuals because they are members of ethnic minorities. Let’s remember these people have come here and made a wonderful contribution to our country. And we will not stand for hate crime or these kinds of attacks. They must be stamped out.”

British Prime Minister David Cameron (June 27th 2016)

DR JACOB GEORGE – UK PREMIER DAVID CAMERON A STATESMAN THE DEMOCRATIC WORLD NEEDS!

Democracy is not about buying of elections with tacit and criminal omission of electoral watch dog duties by an election commission, the abuse of usage of government machinery and the outsourcing of racist, fascist groups, state and non-state actors to threaten, intimidate, and terrorize voters and minorities with death when they respond to protect their interests as in the federal constitution while the political leadership practices an elegant silence at these blatant emotional terrorism of one’s citizens and minorities!

Neither is it democracy when voters are moved from constituency without proper acknowledgement or adherence as to why it was so unless gerrymandering, manipulation of results is the objective?

And many countries are doing so today under the full knowledge of the US, Britain, EU who flaunt religiously their democratic credentials and commitment to democracy and its values and ethics, while continuing their relationships with these abusers and political chameleons who say one thing in international meetings when with them and in their company, while blatantly dismembering any semblance of the virtues and beatitudes of democracy on home soil and to rights and interests of minorities that make up their citizenry!

Why is there no boycotts, travel embargoes or sanctions of these bogus politicians and their families in bourgeoisie Italian suits?

Why is the WEST so silent at these heinous crimes and violations to civil liberties of citizens and minorities that is so very well reported?

Why is the WEST continuing to deal with criminals and human rights violators?

This is why I cannot but really be fascinated at the statement of dear friend, British Prime Minister David Cameron, a real statesman, who made an excellent statement to the House of Commons on the consequences of Britain leaving the European Union while addressing post exit turmoil’s with clarity, decisiveness, rule of law, fairness and the reassuring of state support for minority groups!

This was David’s first appearance in Parliament since the UK voted to leave the bloc!

Inexplicably everyone noticed the absence of key Leave campaigners on his own benches.

Yes I am referring to both Boris Johnson and Michael Gove who were nowhere to be seen during the address.

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The very part that encourages me is David Cameron’s commitment and dedication to Parliamentary Democracy!

He never makes nor take decisions on any matter until he updates the House of Commons!

Neither does he disappear from attending critical and crucial Parliamentary sittings nor sends political surrogates and henchmen and women to spin and spur and mislead the house!

This are the characteristics of a true statesman!

Part of Prime Minister’s David Cameron’s statement is below.

“With permission, Mr Speaker, I would like to make a statement on the result of the EU referendum.

Last week saw one of the biggest democratic exercises in our history with over 33 million people from England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Gibraltar all having their say.

We should be proud of our parliamentary democracy. But it is right that when we consider questions of this magnitude, we don’t just leave it to politicians but rather listen directly to the people. And that is why Members from across this House voted for a referendum by a margin of almost 6 to 1.

Mr Speaker, let me set out for the House what this vote means, the steps we are taking immediately to stabilise the UK economy, the preparatory work for the negotiation to leave the EU, our plans for fully engaging the devolved administrations and the next steps at tomorrow’s European Council.

Mr Speaker, the British people have voted to leave the European Union. It was not the result I wanted – nor the outcome that I believed is best for the country I love. But there can be no doubt about the result.

Of course, I don’t take back what I said about the risks. It is going to be difficult. We have already seen that there are going to be adjustments within our economy, complex constitutional issues, and a challenging new negotiation to undertake with Europe. But I am clear – and the Cabinet agreed this morning – that the decision must be accepted and the process of implementing the decision in the best possible way must now begin.

At the same time, Mr Speaker, we have a fundamental responsibility to bring our country together. In the past few days we have seen despicable graffiti daubed on a Polish community centre. We’ve seen verbal abuse hurled against individuals because they are members of ethnic minorities. Let’s remember these people have come here and made a wonderful contribution to our country. And we will not stand for hate crime or these kinds of attacks. They must be stamped out.

Mr Speaker, we can reassure European citizens living here, and Brits living in European countries, that there will be no immediate changes in their circumstances. Neither will there be any initial change in the way our people can travel, in the way our goods can move, or the way our services can be sold. The deal we negotiated at the European Council in February will now be discarded and a new negotiation to leave the EU will begin under a new Prime Minister.

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Turning to our economy, it is clear that markets are volatile, there are some companies considering their investments and we know this is going to be far from plain sailing. However, we should take confidence from the fact that Britain is ready to confront what the future holds for us from a position of strength.

As a result of our long-term economic plan, we have today one of the strongest major advanced economies in the world and we are well placed to face the challenges ahead. We have low, stable inflation. The employment rate remains the highest it has ever been. The budget deficit is down from 11% of national income, forecast to be below 3% this year. The financial system is also substantially more resilient than it was 6 years ago, with capital requirements for the largest banks now 10 times higher than before the banking crisis.

The markets may not have been expecting the referendum result but, as the Chancellor set out this morning, the Treasury, the Bank of England and our other financial authorities have spent the last few months putting in place robust contingency plans. As the Governor of the Bank of England said on Friday, the Bank’s stress tests have shown that UK institutions have enough capital and liquidity reserves to withstand a scenario more severe than the country currently faces. And the Bank can make available £250 billion of additional funds if it needs to support banks and markets.

In the coming days, the Treasury, the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority will continue to be in very close contact. They have contingency plans in place to maintain financial stability – and they will not hesitate to take further measures if required.

Turning to preparations for negotiating our exit from the EU, the Cabinet met this morning and agreed the creation of a new EU unit in Whitehall. This will bring together officials and policy expertise from across the Cabinet Office, Treasury, Foreign Office and Business Department.

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Clearly this will be most complex and most important task that the British Civil Service has undertaken in decades. So the new unit will sit at the heart of government and be led by and staffed by the best and brightest from across our Civil Service. It will report to the whole of the Cabinet on delivering the outcome of the referendum, advising on transitional issues and exploring objectively options for our future relationship with Europe and the rest of the world from outside the EU. And it will be responsible for ensuring that the new Prime Minister has the best possible advice from the moment of their arrival.

Mr Speaker, I know that colleagues on all sides of the House will want to contribute to how we prepare and execute the new negotiation to leave the EU and my Rt Hon Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster will listen to all views and representations and make sure they are fully put into this exercise. He will be playing no part in the leadership election.

Turning to the devolved administrations, we must ensure that the interests of all parts of our United Kingdom are protected and advanced. So as we prepare for a new negotiation with the European Union, we will fully involve the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland governments. We will also consult Gibraltar, the Crown Dependencies, the Overseas Territories and all regional centres of power, including the London Assembly.

I have spoken to the First Ministers of Scotland and Wales, as well as the First and Deputy First Ministers in Northern Ireland and the Taoiseach, and our officials will be working intensively together over the coming weeks to bring our devolved administrations into the process for determining the decisions that need to be taken.

Mr Speaker, while all of the key decisions will have to wait for the arrival of the new Prime Minister, there is a lot of work that can be started now. For instance, the British and Irish governments begin meeting this week to work through the challenges relating to the common border area.

Mr Speaker, tomorrow I will attend the European Council. In the last few days I have spoken to Chancellor Merkel, President Hollande and a number of other European leaders. We have discussed the need to prepare for the negotiations and in particular the fact that the British government will not be triggering Article 50 at this stage.

Before we do that we need to determine the kind of relationship we want with the EU. And that is rightly something for the next Prime Minister and their Cabinet to decide. I have also made this point to the Presidents of the European Council and the European Commission and I will make this clear again at the European Council tomorrow.

Mr Speaker, this is our sovereign decision and it will be for Britain – and Britain alone – to take. Tomorrow is also an opportunity to make this point: Britain is leaving the European Union, but we must not turn our back on Europe – or on the rest of the world.

The nature of the relationship we secure with the EU will be determined by the next government. But I think everyone is agreed that we will want the strongest possible economic links with our European neighbours, as well as with our close friends in North America, the Commonwealth and important partners like India and China.

I am also sure that whatever the precise nature of our future relationship, we will want to continue with a great deal of our extensive security co-operation and to do all we can to influence decisions that will affect the prosperity and safety of our people here at home.

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Mr Speaker, this negotiation will require strong, determined and committed leadership. And as I have said, I think the country requires a new Prime Minister and Cabinet to take it in this direction. This is not a decision I have taken lightly. But I am absolutely convinced that it is in the national interest.

Mr Speaker, although leaving the EU was not the path I recommended, I am the first to praise our incredible strengths as a country. As we proceed with implementing this decision and facing the challenges that it will undoubtedly bring, I believe we should hold fast to a vision of Britain that wants to be respected abroad, tolerant at home, engaged in the world and working with our international partners to advance the prosperity and security of our nation for generations to come.

I have fought for these things every day of my political life and I will continue to do so.

And I commend this Statement to the House.”

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Thank you David – May HIS BLESSINGS be upon you and Samantha!

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CONSUMERIST: APATHY RULES AND ROAD CARNAGE CONTINUES IN MALAYSIA!

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“Who do we hold accountable for the road carnage we see and witness in Malaysia?

Among the places where fingers can be pointed are at the alleged lack of proper law enforcement and this despite hundreds of thousands of traffic summonses issued each year?”

CONSUMERIST: APATHY RULES AND ROAD CARNAGE CONTINUES IN MALAYSIA!

The last time we made news again for the wrong reasons was when a study by the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute found Malaysian roads are the 17th deadliest in the world!

But my contention is that study was flawed big time as it used outdated data of 2008 from the World Health Organization, where the said authors of the study found that road accidents caused 30 deaths for every 100,000 people in Malaysia’s population.

Basically it means that 6.0 per cent of all deaths in the country were caused by road accident fatalities.

If one decides to make a comparison of road accidents and fatalities across some regions, we may find that road accidents in Thailand caused 44 deaths per 100,000 of people, making it the second most deadly country for road accidents.

Namibia topped the list with 45 deaths per 100,000 of the population.
In comparison, coronary heart disease made up 17 per cent of total deaths in Malaysia, making it the number one killer in the country.

The other two main killers in Malaysia were cancer, which made up 15 per cent of total deaths and stroke at 9 per cent.

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Despite that, the study showed that Malaysia has among the lowest overall fatality rates with 494 deaths per 100,000 people, and was placed 170th among the 193 countries surveyed.

This beckons a very serious question in a land where according to public and international perception among the many lawlessness are the lawlessness we see on the roads of Malaysia!

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Are Malaysian road users taking responsibility for their own safety while driving as more than 80% of traffic accidents are caused by human error according to investigations and surveys done by the Consumers Association of Subang and Shah Alam Selangor (CASSA).

Furthermore, the death of 65,850 people in road accidents between 2004 and 2013 had resulted in as much as RM78 billion being lost in economic contributions with an average of RM1.2 million each.
Now this begs a pertinent question!

Who do we hold accountable for the road carnage we see and witness in Malaysia?

Among the places where fingers can be pointed are at the alleged lack of proper law enforcement and this despite hundreds of thousands of traffic summonses issued each year?

I am certain that the stakeholders and among them the police and other relevant authorities are doing their part but that is certainly not enough!

Every road user and vehicle owner needs to abide by the law and ensure safety of himself and that of passengers!

Instead of blaming others, road users should take it upon themselves to drive safely and be more considerate of other road users and attentive of their surroundings.

Stakeholders who run and manage highways needs to also play their part as they have a contractual duty of care to ensure that the pay and use highways are free of all kinds and forms of dangers!

But this is not always the case as retreaded Tyre parts and other foreign bodies which includes stones and pebbles are on highways and pose a serious danger to users!

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Then there we also have heavy vehicles and trans-border coaches which are always in the news after major crashes resulting in deaths!

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Every year we have a litany of such cases and reruns and verbal diarrhea from the authorities promises action and draconian changes that never comes!

July 1st 2016, two people were killed when an express bus rammed into a road divider at KM194.9 of the North-South Expressway near Bukit Merah, Taiping.

In January this year, six members of a family, including three young grandchildren, were killed in a road accident involving two lorries on the Gua Musang-Kota Baru trunk road.

There have been others cases over the years and you can get my sarcasm and drift!

22 August, 2013

An express bus with 53 occupants from 6 different countries rammed a divider while negotiating a steep slope, and plunged into a 60-metre ravine near Genting Highlands, en route to KL. A staggering thirty-seven people, mostly foreigners, died at the scene – making the accident the deadliest road mishap in Malaysian history. An investigation later revealed that the bus, which had exceeded its maximum capacity of 44 passengers, had been placed on a blacklist by the Road Transport Department (JPJ) well in advance of its fatal journey.

20 December, 2010

A double-decker tour bus packed with Thai holidaymakers returning to KL from Cameron Highlands lost control while negotiating a sharp bend, smashed violently into a divider and went airborne, somersaulted and crashed upside-down in a ditch. The impact was so great that the roof was sheared off, and some passengers were flung through the air, landing many metres away. Of the 37 passengers on board, only 10 survived with severe injuries. Road safety experts later questioned the wisdom behind using a double-decker bus for steep, uphill travel, which they judged highly unsuitable.

13 August, 2007

A 42-seater coach en route from Melaka to Butterworth crashed through a steel barrier while cruising downhill near Bukit Gantang, Perak, and nosedived into a 6-metre ravine. Twenty two of the bus’ occupants (some of whom were catapulted from the vehicle) were killed, while all surviving passengers were severely injured – with the notable exception of a 24 year-old Nepali man, who walked away with barely a scratch. A police investigation later revealed that the deceased bus driver had had 13 summonses and two warrants of arrest for traffic offences, while his employer, the bus operator, had previously been slapped with 19 summonses.

10 October, 2007

An express bus heading north on the North-South Expressway near the Simpang Ampat toll plaza struck the rear of a car, swerved into the median guardrail, crashed through to the opposite lane, and ploughed into an oncoming bus, two cars, a van and a motorcycle. Thirteen people from all vehicles involved were killed, and 45 were injured, many seriously.

23 November, 2003

Two express buses collided along Jalan Lipis-Merapoh, near the Pahang-Kelantan border, killing 14 people.

12 April 2001

The brakes of a tour bus failed as it cruised along Jalan Baling-Pengkalan Hulu in Kedah, causing the coach to career off the road and crash into a ditch. Twelve women and 1 young boy were killed, while many others were gravely injured.

July 16, 1996

A chartered bus filled with vacationing factory workers and their families lost control while descending Genting Highlands and plummeted headlong down a 120 metre-deep gully. Seventeen passengers – including 6 children – were killed, while 15 others were seriously injured.

February, 1990

The notorious Karak highway was the scene of one of the grisliest road accidents in Malaysian history. A multiple-vehicle pile-up occurred when a fast-moving passenger bus collided with a tanker lorry, 6 cars, 2 taxis, a truck and a number of Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) riot police vehicles. Seventeen people, including 11 FRU personnel, were killed, and many more injured. Thousands of vehicles heading to and from KL were tangled in a resulting jam of epic proportions which lasted many hours.

Will change come in 2016?

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