Difference between an engineering specialist and a tabloid columnist


PROFESSIONAL engineers always look for solutions and preventive measures to avoid a recurrence of identical or similar issues in future. However, tabloid columnists tend to rely on sensationalist titles for their articles and contents to entice readers. This difference sets both groups apart.

For example, in the Kelana Jaya line LRT collision, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ir Dr Wee Ka Siong immediately embarked on solutions by establishing an investigation committee straight after the incident.

On the other hand, columnist Mariam Mokhtar harped on the issue by demanding Dr Wee's resignation despite the latter's immediate response and responsible attitude. Transparency was demonstrated in his handling and reporting the latest updates on the LRT collision.

On at least two occasions in her article, Mariam asked Dr Wee to "speak simple English and clarify" his so-called "very complex sounding terminology."

It does not come as a surprise that tabloid columnists who do not possess a strong background in engineering knowledge will react this way. Anyhow, Dr Wee has posted detailed progress of the investigation in multiple languages on social media platforms at regular intervals.

Therefore, there is no reason for Mariam to bemoan that she could not understand the terminology as there were many opportunities for her to ask Dr Wee by leaving comments on those platforms.

It is pointless to address all the allegations made by Mariam who demanded Dr Wee's resignation. This is simply because – due to her limited capability to digest information – she failed to comprehend the full picture of the efforts undertaken by the engineering specialists who investigated the LRT collision.

Dr Wee has posted many articles about the recent LRT collision. His latest post can be found here, where he explained the objective of the investigation committee.

Upon being informed of the collision, Dr Wee immediately rushed to the scene and coordinated rescue efforts. He placed the lives of the victims as the top priority. Within the same day, he established an investigation committee. One by one, the Transport Minister also contacted every victim who suffered injuries to ensure they received the best possible medical treatment and care, besides being very concerned over the progress of their recovery.

Dr Wee's efforts do not conclude just there. He also set a tight 14-day schedule for investigations to be completed. The nine-member committee completed the task successfully within the given timeframe. Dr Wee also tabled the investigation report during a Cabinet meeting on June 9, 2021 as promised. As a result of his efficiency, the Cabinet accepted the committee's 23 recommendations to achieve systemic improvements expeditiously. Meanwhile, MOT will also audit the progress of these improvements periodically.

It is plain obvious that Dr Wee displayed the strengths and virtues of an efficient Cabinet minister to the nation.

It is ironic that Mariam calls for Dr Wee's resignation despite the latter's performance in handling the crisis. Her demands do not make sense at all. Does she hold a hidden agenda that led her to make such baseless allegations and demands? Mariam's remarks are ridiculous considering that she certainly is not a newbie in penning articles.

Transport Ministry and Works Ministry are two separate ministries

Last but not least, why does Mariam link the unfortunate scaffolding accident at the Damansara Shah Alam Highway (DASH), trailer crashing into metal scaffolding at the Sungai Besi-Ulu Kelang Expressway (SUKE), and the collapse of a crane working on the SUKE highway to the MOT and Dr Wee? Highway constructions come under the jurisdiction of the Works Ministry (KKR), NOT the Transport Ministry. Is she either confused, or trying to confuse the public to blame Dr Wee, therefore justify her cries that he be relieved of his ministerial position?

It is definitely an easy tactic to boost readership by demanding a minister to step down. Mariam appears desperate in attempting to link these "accidents" (quoting the terminology used by her) at highway construction sites which do not even come under the purview of MOT.

Link to Mariam Mokhtar's article: https://www.mariammokhtar.com/12-reasons-why-transport-minister-wee-ka-siong-should-resign-he-has-failed-the-rakyat-go-now/amp/

Dr Gan Kang Kai

MCA Youth central committee member

MCA Youth exco member

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