PETALING JAYA: Malaysian Consumers Association president Amarjit Singh Gill has challenged Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai to set up the long-awaited Malaysian Transport Safety Board (MTSB).
“Don’t just talk about it. Make sure the board is set up this time,” he told FMT today.
Amarjit was responding to Liow’s recent statement that the transport ministry was in the midst of establishing the MTSB.
The board would facilitate independent and transparent investigations of major accidents, research to improve road safety, and monitor and evaluate safety initiatives of all modes of transport, Liow said.
There has been talk of a transport safety board since January last year, when Liow was quoted as saying the board would be formed in response to the 2013 Genting Highlands bus crash.
This is regarded as the worst road accident in Malaysian history, taking the lives of 37 people. It was blamed on speed and faulty brakes.
Subsequently in September last year, Liow said the MTSB Bill was expected to be tabled in Parliament.
“They (government) have been talking about it since September last year and it is already December 2016. But nothing has been done,” Amarjit said.
“The board is good, provided they actually form it, instead of just talking and nothing is done at the end of the day.”
Amarjit said the MTSB, when it is formed, must seek the input of stakeholders and transport bodies.
“MTSB must also ensure their ideas are implemented.
“Don’t make this advisory panel a toothless tiger. It has to be a panel that has a say.”
Road safety again came into focus when on Christmas eve, 14 people were killed and 16 injured when an express bus plunged into a ravine near Pagoh, Johor.
According to Liow, the bus did not have the Speed Limiter Device (SLD) because it was manufactured and registered in 2013, before the SLD was made compulsory for buses manufactured after January 2015.
Liow also said the ministry, through the Logistics and Land Transport Division, would carry out a comprehensive audit of the entire chain of public service vehicle design, construction, approval and inspection procedures.