Broken roads, broken lives: Malaysians cry foul for pothole solution

Malaysians demand solutions for devastating pothole problem

20 Jan 2024 08:01am
Potholes plague Malaysian roads, sparking outrage and urgency for action
Potholes plague Malaysian roads, sparking outrage and urgency for action

SHAH ALAM - The issue of potholes ravaging Malaysian roads has reached a critical point, with recent incidents, including a fatal accident and a driver losing his life to pothole-induced manoeuvres, highlighting the urgent need for a definitive solution.

On Jan 7, tragedy struck the Pasir Gudang Highway when a vehicle, reportedly hit a pothole and crashed into an electrical panel box, claiming the life of a nine-month pregnant woman.

This heartbreaking incident, occurring amidst rainy conditions, raises serious questions about the effectiveness of the Works Ministry's road repair efforts on this crucial artery.

Similar accounts of pothole-related mishaps reverberate across the nation.

On Jan 13, Sabah witnessed a lorry driver's life tragically cut short after attempting to evade potholes, causing his vehicle to overturn.

Such incidents are not isolated occurrences.

In light of recent events, Ahmad Adam, 37, shared his experiences, revealing that he has been involved in multiple road accidents caused by potholes.

On one occasion, he had to shell out approximately RM200 to replace his motorcycle rims, as the front rim suffered damage from colliding with a pothole.

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He also recounted a friend's fatal motorcycle accident caused by a pothole.

“My friend was a student in a university in Gombak, Selangor. One evening, after watching a football match with friends at a local mamak restaurant, he encountered a massive pothole on his way back home and tragically lost his life.

"I was devastated. Clearly this pothole issue has been going on for too long and the community deserves a more effective and enduring solution,” he added.

Echoing Adam's concerns, Farah Dhaniyah, 24, spoke about her repeated encounters with pothole accidents, resulting in substantial repair costs.

“Experiencing pothole accidents has often resulted in significant damage to my car's suspension system and occasional tire damage, with recent repair costs reaching around RM800.

"This not only poses challenges to road safety but also imposes a financial burden.

“The lack of accountability from authorities compounds the issue. There's an urgent need to address neglected road conditions to ensure road safety.

"The frequency of accidents due to potholes in Malaysia highlights the need for immediate and effective solutions,” she said.

Farah also explained that the involvement of organisations like Ikatan Silaturrahim Brotherhood led by Lando Zawawi and regular Malaysians in fixing potholes highlights the inadequacies of authorities in handling road maintenance.

Another motorist, Muhammad Asyraf, 25, highlighted the risk potholes pose to motorcyclists, especially at night.

He acknowledged the community's efforts in road maintenance but noted it needs to reflect better on the efficiency of official road safety programmes.

Adib Wahin, 35, a former workshop owner, shed light on the frequent repairs due to pothole damages, including absorbers, burst tires, and misaligned vehicle parts.

“Commonly affected components include the absorber, burst tires, scratched rims, misaligned alignment, and certain lower arms of the vehicle.

“Potholed roads pose a particular danger during rainfall, as water accumulates in the holes, potentially leading to accidents and additional damage,” he explained.

Adib also said that repair costs are estimated to be in the range of RM700 to RM800, depending on the vehicle type and model.

“We carefully assess the customer's budget and prioritise immediate repairs based on the severity of the damage. Whether the replacement parts are original or locally sourced, we take into account the customer's financial constraints.

“Even with original spare parts, their durability is compromised if the roads remain potholed,” he added.

Adib also went on to voice out his dissatisfaction on the issue.

“From my perspective, it feels like a financial setback when we dutifully pay road taxes but are left with uneven and potholed roads, especially posing a higher risk for motorcycles,” he explained.