Friday, April 1, 2011

The Never Ending Potholes Stories in JB, Jalan Berlubang (2)

Family Sues JB Council, Mayor Over Son's Death

JOHOR BARU: A couple yesterday filed a suit against the Johor Baru City Council and the city's mayor over the death of their son who was killed when he was flung from a motorcycle after it hit a pothole two years ago.
The accident occurred in Jalan Daya in Taman Daya here at 3am on Aug 17, 2007.
Tan Cheng Ming, then 20, was riding pillion with a friend.
Tan suffered severe head injuries and was rushed to Sultan Ismail Hospital.
He, however, succumbed to his injuries the same day at 8.50am.
His friend who rode the motorcycle escaped with minor injuries.
Tan Nguang Chiang, 55, a former taxi driver, and his wife Kok Yoke Hing, 54, filed the suit at the Sessions Court naming the city council and the mayor as first defendant and second defendants respectively.
The claim stated that the accident had occurred due to the negligence of the local council and the mayor for not doing enough to patch up pothole-riddled roads in the city.
The couple are claiming special damages amounting to RM5,680 for funeral expenses and miscellaneous costs incurred in transportation to hospital and lodging police report.
They are also claiming for general damages amounting to RM134,400 which is RM700 per month for 16 years.
The couple claimed that Cheng Ming was working as a cook earning a monthly salary of about RM1,400 out of which he contributed RM700 a month towards household expenses.
The couple is represented by counsel Norman Fernandez, who later told reporters that he had written numerous letters to the council on behalf of his clients for an amicable settlement of the case.
He said the council, however, declined to respond, which prompted the filing of the suit.
Tan said nothing could bring his son back but there had to be closure on his death so that the family could move on with their lives.

Source: New Straits Times, January 22, 2009

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Johor Bahru, the southern gateway to Malaysia, sure has its authorities on their toes.
But visitors greeted with potholes, is authorities all-ready on their toes?
Good job done?
The road conditions is sure to entice all first-time visitors.
It will be marvelled and remembered, especially by first timer, spending their time in JB.

Potholes of all sizes, tantalise the adrenalin of those raring and daring adventurous blood, but not the subtle ones.
Worst still, if greeted by streetlights along most roads which are seldom lit.
It is not earth hour all year round.

This man, fed up with the never ending trivial issues that had become mountain, took thing in his hands.

Mission To Fix Potholes   

JOHOR BARU: Fed-up with the increasing number of potholes all over the city here, especially during the recent rainy season, one man has stepped forward to make a difference.
The man, who wanted only to be known as Panjang and did not want to reveal much about his background, has taken it upon himself to cover up potholes wherever he finds them.
“I am fed-up with the increasing number of potholes around the city which poses a danger to motorists.
“I have no problem doing this sort of work. Anyway, it is for the good of the people,” he said, adding that he decided to act as the authorities were slow in repairing the roads.

CONCERN FOR MOTORISTS: Panjang filling a pothole with stones and pebbles on a busy road before sealing it with cement in Johor Baru Friday.
The 63-year-old man rides around on his bicycle looking for potholes, which he first fills with stones and pebbles and then seals with cement. The man, who claims to have been covering potholes for the past two years, has also risked his life many times covering holes in the middle of the road without proper signage.
Recently, a motorist knocked into his bicycle, which he had parked behind a car, while patching a hole along busy Jalan Maju.
“Some people think that I am a mad man and have scolded me for doing this,” he said.
The number of potholes around the city has increased, especially during the recent rainy season. The holes have also brought traffic to a crawl, especially during peak hours.
Some of the affected stretches are Pasir Gudang Highway, Jalan Ayer Molek, Jalan Tampoi, Jalan Tebrau, Jalan Bakar Batu and the roads near the Larkin bus station.
Motorist Azlan Affandi Saufee Affandi, 22, said he spends RM200 every two months on wheel alignment and balance due to the potholes.
“I have tried many times to avoid them but some are just too wide,” he said, adding that it was frustrating driving around the city.
Another motorist, Fadhilah Mohd Khalid, 22, a private college student, said the road near her home in Desa Skudai was pitted with potholes.
“It is like the road has been hit by a meteor shower,” she said.

Source: The Star - Saturday, January 21, 2006

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Support Pours In For JB Pothole Patcher 

JOHOR BARU: Odd-job worker Panjang, who has become a folk hero of sorts in this city for his determination to cover every pothole he sees, is surprised at the attention he is getting and the support of well-wishers who give him cement to help in his patchwork.
The 64-year-old man also received food and two bicycles to help him move about.
“I am overwhelmed by these gestures. I am just a simple man who is trying to do my bit to prevent accidents,” he said while patching up more holes yesterday.

FOR A NOBEL CAUSE:Panjang fixing potholes along Jalan Maju in Johor baru using his bare hands.
“I got at least two bicycles and food from people in recent weeks,” he said, adding that he has given away one bicycle to a friend who needed it. Panjang, who had earlier refused to talk much about his background, said he came from a wealthy family in Penang.
He said he was a businessman once and had worked in Singapore for almost 25 years.

Panjang: Received cement, food and two bicycles.
“My uncle, who died some time ago, inspired me to do good for others,” he said. Panjang, wearing a tattered T-shirt and pants, also makes a living selling Chinese health magazines.
He speaks fluent English.
Last month, The Star reported that Panjang, who declined to disclose his real name, had taken it upon himself to cover potholes wherever he found them as they were posing danger in the streets.
Once while he was patching a hole along busy Jalan Maju, a motorist knocked into his bicycle that he had parked behind a car.
Panjang, who claimed to have started his crusade against potholes two years ago, had risked his life many times covering holes in the middle of the road without proper warning signs.
He said he has done odd jobs that allowed him to know the right mixture of sand and cement to use in sealing potholes.
He could not tell how many potholes he had sealed so far but said: “I have patched up many potholes around Jalan Maju, Jalan Serampang and Jalan Perang.”
With hands full of scars and a set of stained teeth, Panjang said while some people had warmed up to him, some continued to ridicule and throw insults at him.
“This will not deter me from carrying out my task and I am more determined,” he said, adding that he never asked for anything in return for his service.

Source: The Star - Tuesday, Februaury 7, 2006

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The company that is awarded with pothole patching, sure, with employing Panjang, part of a solution is reached.

At least at places where Panjang  is able to reach with his bicycle around Taman Sentosa, the company can rest assured that there is no pothole that is awaiting death on that road.  

1 comment:

remgold said...

Panjang be blessed!
not easy to get happy endings in stories these days!