Saturday, November 14, 2009

1Malaysia Camp

I have in the past written about our natural talent in finger-pointing. It's been two years since I wrote that article and it's clear that nothing has changed.

Last month the hanging bridge at Kuala Dipang collapsed even though it was a newly-constructed bridge. Within hours, the body of a girl was found. Eventually 3 children died in that tragedy. It was mentioned that the outing was made compulsory, so one has to wonder if the parents of these kids could do very much to stop their children from joining the camp.

So who's at fault here?

Are the parents at fault? Surely they can't be responsible, since all they did was to obey the wishes of the authority wanting so much to promote their 1Malaysia thing? Besides, if it's true that the school made it a compulsory activity, then it would have been even harder for the parents to deny their permissions?

Is the Government at fault? Well, maybe not directly. But surely there must have been an authority that's responsible for the safety of the bridge? Did anyone check the construction specifications before approving the use of the bridge?

Are the teachers responsible? Would it have been any difference if, for example, they had limited the number of students to, say, 20 crossing the bridge at any one time?

Maybe the contractor who built the bridge did not build it to specifications? Somehow it was built understrength?

A lot of questions to be answered, and of course all the parties involved are now working very, very hard to point fingers at each other. However, it seems that the Deputy Prime Minister had recently acknowledged that the recent collapse of the bridge "may have been caused by its flawed construction."

In the following weeks, I'm sure many more excuses will surface, but during dinner shortly ago, I was discussing about this case with Mia. She said her mom is blaming the children themselves. Apparently, it's been reported that the children were playing and jumping on the bridge on that fateful day, and that had caused it to collapse.

I said so what if the kids were playing and jumping on the bridge? If the contractor who constructed the bridge had any brains at all, he would have anticipated the possibility of kids playing and jumping on the bridge. That bridge shouldn't have collapsed merely because the kids were playing on it.

If the bridge was built to a strength of a limited loading capacity, then the contractor owed the duty to notify the people who're using the bridge. For example, a huge, clear signboard showing the loading capacity—say, "ONLY 10 PEOPLE ON BRIDGE AT A TIME", y'know, something like what see in the lifts. It's not mentioned if there was such a signboard there, and if there was, then why weren't the treachers heeding such notice?

Kids being what they are, is it really unforeseeable that they would play while crossing the bridge? In fact, I think it is unforeseeable that they won't! I'm surprised that my mother-in-law is psychoed into believing that it's the kids' fault for the tragedy.

Anyway, I'm eagerly waiting for the final outcome of the investigation. I want to know when and if the guilty party has been identified, what will be done about it.

No comments: