PETALING JAYA: Authorities need to be proactive in filling potholes rather than reacting only when a tragedy strikes, says Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye.
The Alliance for Safe Community chairman reiterated calls for mobile teams to seek out potholes rather than to wait for the public to lodge complaints.
"We had called for foresight and funds, but our calls seem to have fallen on deaf ears. We had also said that, as elsewhere, all lives matter.
"How many more lives must it take for remedial action to be taken?
"We had also called for a zero-tolerance policy where road repairs are concerned, but is that just a pipe dream?
"This is a call for the authorities to be proactive, rather than be reactive. To be proactive is to act before tragedy strikes. To be reactive is to act after a tragedy has occurred.
"No amount of apology or compensation will be able to assuage the families of the victims concerned," he said Wednesday (Jan 6).
Lee was responding to the deaths of a 31-year-old man who was killed in an accident after his motorcycle hit a bad patch on the road, and a 75-year-old man who died after being thrown off his motorcycle after hitting a pothole.
With their deaths, Lee questioned whether a mere apology such as the one given to Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin would assuage the next-of-kin of the unfortunate victims.
"Who will compensate them for the needless tragedy that was preventable? It's time for the family of the deceased to initiate legal action against local authorities," he said, pointing out that the shirking of responsibilities on who should repair roads should stop.
"After all, when the rakyat pay taxes, they do not pay it for the services of the Public Works Department (JKR) or Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL). They pay to the government through the Inland Revenue Board, and then the government allocates the funds to the various ministries and agencies.
"Similarly, when the rakyat pay their taxes, they are not interested in whose specific responsibility it is to repair the roads. They simply want roads to be made safe by the authorities," he said.