Avoid tragedies, fix Sabah’s transport system, says Warisan

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PETALING JAYA: Parti Warisan Sabah has warned the federal government that more tragedies will happen on Sabah roads if Putrajaya does not make good on its decade-old promise to improve public transportation in the state.

The warning follows the death of a motorcycle rider and his three children in Keningau on Monday night in what appeared to be a hit-and-run accident. The motorcyclist’s wife is in critical condition at the Keningau hospital. All five were travelling on the same motorcycle.

Warisan vice-president Junz Wong acknowledged that it would be wrong to assume the “terrible” public transport system forced the family to ride together on a motorcycle. “Nonetheless, the issue must be addressed to prevent similar accidents in future,” he told FMT.

Wong said the federal government had been talking about improving public transportation in the state for the last 10 years.

“They talk about having a one-way road system in Kota Kinabalu and spending so many millions of ringgit to study about it,” he said.

“There has always been a lot of talk and suggestions, and a lot of good news but up till today you still don’t see anything happening.”

Wong made no attempt to excuse the deceased motorcyclist for going against the law by carrying more than one person on his motorcycle.

“Everybody needs to be responsible road users who comply with the law,” he said.

“This was a tragic and terrible accident that cost the motorcyclist his and his children’s lives, but road users need to remember that when they endanger their family in such a way, they endanger other road users as well.”

Meanwhile, a motorcycle group noted that it was common to see more than two people on a motorcycle even in places with a better public transport system like Kuala Lumpur.

Ikatan Silaturrahim Brotherhood leader Azlan Sani Zawawi said he believed this was because the poor would find it too expensive to use public transport.

“They have no other choice,” he told FMT. “Riding a motorcycle is so much cheaper, especially if it’s a small-engine motorcycle like the kapcais we see all over KL.”