Archive for the 'Driving guide' Category

Icy road

The kind of music that would remind you that Malaysian roads are now littered with the controversial AES (Automated Enforcement System) cameras.

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A sign of the times

(Photo credit: The Malaysian Insider)

You’d be easily alerted to the fact that you are nearing Ipoh by the giant sign that says ‘IPOH’.

And while you’re at it, you should also be alerted to the fact that each of the alphabets in ‘IPOH’ costs RM100,000 — and there are two of those huge signs welcoming visitors to the city.

So go figure. For full story, see here.

The road to Bagan Pinang is paved with crude intention

It’s been reported that from yesterday onwards, “Jalan Berhala in the Brickfields area in Kuala Lumpur will be known as Jalan K Ramanathan Chettiar and a part of it as Jalan MG Pandithan”.

According to Federal Territories Deputy Minister M Saravanan, the names were taken after the third MIC president K Ramanathan Chettiar and former IPF president Pandithan.  

“After Jalan Brickfields was changed to Jalan Tun Sambanthan, after the fifth MIC president, 27 years ago now Jalan Berhala’s name is being changed,” added Saravanan yesterday.

The timing of the name change in Brickfields makes many Malaysians, including the voters in Bagan Pinang (particularly those of ethnic Indian extraction) wonder.

Isn’t this change aimed primarily to appease Indian Malaysians in general and the substantial ethnic Indian voters in Bagan Pinang in particular in the wake of the Shah Alam controversial cow-head protest?

And if this political intention is true, wouldn’t this move on the part of the authorities be perceived as ridiculing the intelligence of the ordinary Malaysians, particularly the ethnic Indians?

Highway hitch

So the decision to approve toll increases for five of Malaysia’s highways, which were to have taken effect today, has been revoked by the government.

The five affected highways are North-South Expressway (Plus), Sprint Highway (Sprint), Ampang Elevated Highway (Akleh), Sungai Besi Highway (Besraya) and New Pantai Expressway (NEP).

Is this good news for the ordinary Malaysians who are now facing the ravages of recession? Not really. This is because they, as taxpayers, are paying indirectly to the toll concessionaires. It was reported that “With the 10-month delay, the government will have to pay RM287 million in compensation to the five toll concessionaires.”

This government’s U-turn in its toll decision only triggers off speculations, one of which is that all highways in Malaysia for the moment lead to Bukit Selambau and Bukit Gantang.

The song that moves you even in Jelapang

American singer-songwriter Woody Guthrie loved his car and hence, the ‘Car Song’. He should have considered having a spin along the tricky Jelapang route.

Power-driven Perak Exco in a sluggish economy?

The Perak state government is back in the limelight again, but perhaps for yet another wrong reason.

It’s about its widely publicised desire to buy a fleet of new imported cars to replace the old Proton Perdanas. Perak senior executive councillor Ngeh Koo Ham declared that the state leadership preferred Toyota Camry 2.4V to the relatively cheaper Camry 2.0E because the state leaders would need to do a lot of travels, and travel fast!

For one thing, it would be quite insensitive of the state Exco to buy the more expensive version of the Camry especially at a time when the economy is slowing down, money is tight and some workers are getting retrenched. Not that it makes good sense to buy the expensive Camry at a time when the economy does well.

Secondly, how often do the state leaders have to rush and drive fast? Besides, surely the Camry 2.0E, if at all there is a need to buy this expensive make, would be good and strong enough to transport them from point A to point B without much difficulty?

The state Exco may want to go slow on this car purchase plan given its ramifications.

Here’s an extract of that Bernama story:

IPOH, Dec 23 (Bernama) — After much questioning by many parties, Perak senior executive councillor Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham finally explained why the state government chose the Toyota Camry 2.4V and not the cheaper entry-level Toyota Camry 2.0E as the new official car to replace their fleet of Perdana V6 Executive.

He said the Toyota Camry 2.4V was chosen because state executive councillors (excos) and senior officers needed a powerful car to use for their official business.

“Some feel that the 2.0 litre model is underpowered and some think that it is good enough, but for us who have do all the travelling and sometimes need to rush, the 2.4 litre model is more reasonable,” he told reporters here today.

The Toyota Camry 2.0E is priced at RM141,109 while the Toyota Camry 2.4V which is RM167,000.

Express casualties

Another misfortune struck Malaysians in the wake of the Bukit Antarabangsa tragedy, and this time it’s on the North-South Expressway near Tangkak, Johor yesterday. Ten people were reportedly killed when the express bus they’re in skidded and rammed into a tree.

We have heard far too often of such highway calamities that cause deaths, pain and misery to the people concerned. And what’s worse is that very often these tragedies occur at a time when families and friends are supposed to celebrate festivities or go for a family outing.

Transport Minister Ong Tee Keat has called for an investigation into this accident, and he said that ‘if negligence was found to be the cause of the accident, stern action would be taken against those responsible’.

Malaysians do hope that there are lessons to be learnt from this and other previous accidents so that proper precautions are taken and standard procedures are strictly adhered to by the authorities and bus management concerned to ensure that a trip meant to enhance ties between family members, relatives and friends does not end up to be a journey of grievous loss of lives. 

Unless safety on the highway is ensured, not many Malaysians would be easily convinced that it’s okay and convenient to go ‘Cuti Cuti Malaysia’ on public transport.