(File pix) A traffic jam isn’t pleasant for anyone. Pix by Shahnaz Fazlie Shahrizal

ANATION is a collection of people. If they live well individually, then the community will be good.

The thing is, we are creatures of habit. It is well and good if the habits are good. Unfortunately, some find it too easy to take on bad habits.

One day, I was passing through the golden triangle area and became a victim of bad habits of some Malaysians. I was not the only one apparently. There was a nasty traffic crawl at the confluence of traffic from Petronas Twin Towers, Mandarin Hotel and Jalan Kia Peng.

The traffic lights were out and as usual, there was no give and take. It was selfishness on full display. What teachers of bad habits we must have been to our children.

A police outrider was passing by but he did not stop to direct the traffic. It is true that we do not know if he had more pressing things to attend to. But he could have called for other policemen to come to his aid.

I would have got out of the car to direct the traffic, as I did once when no car was able to move at a failed traffic lights junction in Damansara. To my surprise, they did what I asked them to do. But I could not do it as I was stuck like many others in the car park tunnel in KLCC.

Later when I snaked my way through, I noticed that the jam was caused by a number of factors. Every one of them preventable.

Firstly, the traffic lights. I understand that they can be faulty sometimes, but we are in the 21st century where Internet of Things can see, hear and even smell things without being there. Surely we can have a control room like that of the toll operators to see if the lights are on or off. And if the lights are down, alert the police to send their men there to direct the traffic.

A traffic jam isn’t pleasant for anyone, except maybe for a masochist who enjoys the pain of being stuck in traffic jams. For other Malaysians like me, traffic jams are a waste of time. You get 45 minutes older driving from the Twin Towers traffic lights to the Grand Hyatt Hotel. Just metres away and yet it seems like light years travelling the short distance.

Secondly, the traffic jam was caused by people attending a function at the KL Convention Centre (KLCC). While blaming the organisers or the centre may sound unreasonable, it is not unreasonable to adopt preventive steps.

KLCC can inform the police about the date and time of the exhibition so that the latter can help ease the traffic flow. This is corporate social responsibility, a company taking heart of the concerns of people moving around its area of operations.

Finally, the traffic jam was caused by cars parked at the blue cycling lane adjacent to KLCC and Grand Hyatt. These cars were not boneshakers owned ordinary middle-class city dwellers. These were high-end Mercedes and Maserati whose owners could have easily paid the hotel parking fees.

I guess these guys can afford the blink-blink world of expensive cars but not civic values. All they care about is to enjoy their lives at the expense of others.

In such a selfish world, we need vigorous enforcement. There is no point having all the rules in the world if we can’t enforce them.


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NAM

Kuala Lumpur

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