Poor maintenance culture endangers life and limb
Poor maintenance culture endangers life and limb

Poor maintenance culture endangers life and limb

I CONCUR with the views expressed by Ravindran Raman Kutty in his letter published in The Star on June 25 “Unclear signage a safety hazard”.

I have articulated in the media and elsewhere over a long period of time the same concerns.

Ravindran has given specifics about the dangers inherent in neglect and suggested measures the authorities could and should adopt to prioritise safety.

So have I and I would like to reiterate and repeat my concerns, particularly to the Malaysian Highway Authority (MHA), Public Works Department (JKR) and the local authorities.

Poor maintenance culture imperils both life and limb of the young and old, men and women, sturdy and infirm.

The consequences of neglect are plain to see.

They are not isolated incidents but symptomatic of a systemic malaise that demands urgent attention.

A robust maintenance culture is not a luxury; it is a necessity and the backbone of any developed society, ensuring the safety, reliability and longevity of infrastructure and public services.

The lack of maintenance manifests in many ways.

Overgrown trees and branches obstruct road signs, thus posing a danger to motorists, especially at night and during heavy rain.

Many road markings have faded, causing motorists to swerve to the left and right, onto the path of other vehicles.

Another case in point was highlighted by the National Audit Department not too long ago, which revealed that the maintenance of septic tanks was between 2% and 11.8%.

It added that the then Environment and Water Ministry did not have a national-level sewerage policy in place to guide long-term planning and direction of our sewage management.

The root causes of neglect are multi-faceted; bureaucratic inertia and a lack of accountability play their parts.

The underlying issue is a pervasive culture of complacency and short-term thinking.

The authorities concerned must shift their mindset from reactive repairs to proactive maintenance.

Regular inspections, timely repairs, a commitment to quality and concern for public safety are non-negotiable elements of a sound maintenance strategy.

Stringent regulations and enforcement, adequate funding and punitive actions are essential to ensure compliance with rules and regulations.

Let us not wait for a disaster to jolt us into action.

The cost of inaction is far too high.

We must prioritise maintenance as a cornerstone of national policy and practice.

Our lives, our safety and our future depend on it.


Chairman, Alliance for a Safe Community

Sila Baca Juga

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