Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Our Little Sacrifices- The tragedy of Kuala Dipang, Kampar

Our deepest condolence to the families of Dina Deve Nathan (11 years) , Divya Shree Vasudevan (12 years) and M. Devatharshini (11years) in their bereavement.

More details emerged in yesterdays Malay Mail, 28 October 2009. Besides the moving stories on the pain suffered by bereaving families, other details are merging into a general picture. We learned that investigations and inquiries are being conducted on various aspects of the accident. Even possible corruption or irregularities are being looked into.

As investigations are going on, it is only proper we reserve judgement as to  the exact cause or blame of the tragedy. Nevertheless, we refuse to attribute it  simply to fate. At the very least, based on the scanty details at this juncture, a general picture is emerging, that of sloppiness: sloppiness of planning, of anticipation, of maintenance, of preparedness, the lack of care and due diligence,  as well as callous disregard for the sanctity of human life. We reserve our judgement as yet on the role played by greed and self-aggrandisement.

A picture published in the Malay Mail seems to say much. Actually the bridge did not so much as 'collapse', suggesting a breakdown of parts of the bridge over the river. The picture indicates quite clearly the bridge simply 'came undone', with the foundation simply giving away, cleanly! Now that has got to be either irregularity or gross sloppiness.

The tragedy of Kuala Dipang may be unique in manifestation, but I believe the same principle is at work throughout our national life. Sloppiness reigns supreme everywhere, exacting heavy human costs. It is not necessarily a bridge the next time, could be a bridge, a building, a condominium, even a whole section of a road, just anything really.

Our only regret is that in Kuala Dipang, Kampar young children, ten eleven year old, had to experience a tragedy. We are relieved that many cheated death, which was possible only with the Grace of God. The danger they survived would have been formidable even for sporting or atheletic adults. See for an idea of the danger involved.

As for little Dina, Divya and M. Devatharshini, they had been our little sacrifices to sloppiness. Let us draw a lesson from the tragedy, to act and say no more,  never ever again!

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