Singapore’s most fatal car crash in a decade is the most honest reflection of a national unity compared to Malaysia’s.
That’s the biggest takeaway from the self-inflicted car crash in Singapore last week that killed all five of its occupants.
Considered from almost any logical angle, it was an act not of a sane person. To drive at a speed of more than 200 kph in a built environment of a narrow road meant for 50 kph is like a game of Russian Roulette.
It’s a death game and no person of right mind initiates this if it could kill somewhat captive passengers. This was very clear in the minds of Singaporeans.
The response from the Singaporean social media mostly FB with video attachments and video analysis converged towards an emotional outpouring of grief and/or the stupidity of it all.
It was interesting for me as a Malaysian automotive journalist who is an activist for traffic safety and reduction of killed and crippled victims of road crashes.
If this same crash had happened in an equivalent urban setting in Petaling Jaya, there would have been a larger variety of responses.
First of all, there would be cyber trooper discussions on whether there was drunkenness and drugs involved.
With the Muslim and non-muslim community split, the cybertroopers would want to ban alcohol sales in Petaling Jaya forever.
This would further split the community by the Malays and the “nons” (non-Malays) because the Malays don’t drink while the nons may or may not drink but are offended by any intrusion to their right to imbibe.
Then there would be discussion about illegal speed track and how the small road should be humped and traffic calmed and how there was gambling with sex prizes.
All this by hate mongers to add fuel to fire.
Then the Police will have to stop the sedition erupting like fireworks on Chinese New Year midnight and ban the social media broadcast of the relevant videos.
That is what would have happened in Peninsular Malaysia, that a road safety issue would be spun out by hatemongers to torture the generally harmonious relationships in the multiracial and multi religious community.
The real issue is not about 5 people dying in one car in Singapore. That can be attributed to youthful and temporary insanity and death by misadventure even. Can’t be prevented.
But in Malaysia, an average seven persons die in road crashes on a daily basis and the real tragedy is that many of these deaths can be prevented on a systematic basis.
We have issues of potholes that cripple and kill motorcyclists, we have urban toll road construction projects like DASH that have frequent and rapidly thrown up road diversions with inadequate signage and street lighting from Kota Damansara to the North South Highway.
And in this fractured Peninsular Malaysia of ours, there is not yet a credible leader to address road safety issues for quick and longer term gains.
For instance, do we still want to issue driving licenses with the objective of licensing as many people as pay for the licenses; or do we want to improve driving and riding skills before we license the candidates.
In that sense, this leader has to address the corruption that enables driving academies to proudly proclaim “Janji Pass” or “Guarantee Pass”.
Do we have such a candidate that we can support in this coming G15?