31 August, 2009

Delicate Issues Regarding Highway Financing

One of the ways to enable highways to be built is through toll collection. Another option is to use money funded by the government which is apparently too much for the government to sustain. As for the toll collection, the collected fund will be used by the concessionaires to pay back the respective banks for lending them the money to construct the highways.

As agreed with the bank, the toll concessionaires have to increase the toll rate annually in order to enable them paying back the bank within the stipulated time frame. The road users usually against the increase in toll collection due to the apparent reasons that road users only wanted to enjoy travelling along the highway without thinking about the financing of the highways. In this case, the road users have a choice of either paying the high toll cost and enjoying the smooth travel along the highways or they can use the existing Federal Funded roads where they don't have to pay any tolls. However, the road users have to endure longer travelling time and slightly lower level of service along the federally funded road. But, problems arising when road users forget about their choices and insisted that they have the absolute right to use the toll facilities and demanding that the toll of the facilities should be made affordable. There are about 22 toll concession holders in Malaysia.

In order to resolve this dilemma, the Malaysian Government is undergoing a study on the possibility of the Government to take over all toll road in the country. The motive of the study is to create a system to provide comfort for the people and without burdening them further with the increase in toll cost.

However, the government must take into consideration its long-term financial capability to meet the required needs to sustain the service in the future. To read more about the complication of the highway financing issues refer to this article.

Celebrating The 52nd Independent of Malaysia

Today is the 52nd Malaysia's Independence day. I am proud to be able to witness the 52nd independent of Malaysia. This year celebration is coincided with the fasting month of Ramadan. Malaysia has seen a lot of progress in almost all aspects of life. Of course there are still certain aspects that should have been addressed properly such as the use of advanced technologies in all facets of life. However, given the number of years since independent the progress rate is commendable.
Every citizens need to work harder to ensure that the nation will progress further and the tolerance among the different races are upheld. I would like to wish that Malaysia will be more prosperous and peaceful for years to come.

The picture above shows a theater presentation about the independence day.

Pedestrian Walkway as Part of Bridge Design


In Malaysia, almost all of bridges are provided with pedestrian walkway on both sides of the bridge. Usually, the pedestrian walkway is raised several cm above the pavement surface. I am not sure how many pedestrian will ever use the walkway within a day, a week or a month since most of the bridges are located very far from the community.

The raised pedestrian walkway is very dangerous to the motorists especially to the motorcyclists. The motorcyclists can easily hit the raised pedestrian way and cause them to be hit by other vehicles along the road. The existence of the raised pedestrian walkway also causes motorcyclists to encroach into the travelling lane of other vehicles increases the chances of the motorcyclists being hit by other vehicles.

The only used of the pedestrian walkway is by anglers who use the bridge as a perfect staging point of their fishing rods to attract more fish. However, most of the time, there is a notice board somewhere in the vicinity of the bridges discouraging people from fishing along the bridge.

30 August, 2009

Help Preventing Crime Through Environmental Design

Recently, the Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF) said that developers, builders, planners and architects will be roped in to help implement the concept of crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED). The MCPF vice-chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said the basic concept behind CPTED was the effective use of the physical environment to reduce crime.

The concept has proven to be very effective in reducing crime rate all over the world. By implementing the concept, all buildings, houses, parks, pedestrian bridges, roads and back lanes are designed in such a way to create fewer opportunities for criminals. For further information on the Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation refer to Developers and builders to help cut crime by design.

Aftermate of Bush Fire

Aftermate of Bush Fire
Originally uploaded by wanhashim
It was long draught season in Sarawak for the last few weeks. Several places especially areas with peat soil were on fire. As shown in the picture is the aftermate of bush fires just near the Miri Airport.

Luckily that it was raining for the last few weeks which help in controlling the bush fire.

Miri Airport Bush Fire

Another view of the airport vicinity.

29 August, 2009

Pledge for Road Safety Anyone

Every year the number of casualties due to road accident is very high especially in Malaysia. You might experienced that someone that you know was involved in road accidents. According to statistics,a major factor contributing to road accidents is human behavior.

As part of the initiative to ensure drivers will drive safely, about 250,000 Malaysians are expected to take part in the Malaysians Unite for Road Safety (Mufors) 090909 campaign organised by PLUS Expressway Berhad.

All Malaysians can make a pledge on how they can contribute towards reducing accidents and saving lives, and honouring these pledges on Wednesday, Sept 9, 2009, between 9am and 9pm. It is the hope of the organizer of the campaign that these pledges honoured over a 12-hour period will transform into a lifetime change.

For those who are interested to pledge for the sake of road safety can visit the website www.090909.org.my, that was supported by PLUS, AMP Radio Networks, Malaysian Highway Authority, Works Ministry, police and the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros).

Together, we can make our road safer.

28 August, 2009

Motorcyclists Misbehavior

While travelling to work during rush hour in the morning and while approaching a roundabout, almost have an accident with a motorcycle. I was travelling on the right lane while several motorcycles were on the left lane while approaching the roundabout. Suddenly one of the motorcycles without giving proper signal suddenly turn into the right lane just in front of the car. Due to my reflective response, I had to press the brake and press the car horn which blazing loudly. Luckily the motorcyclist and his pillion rider heard the car horn and he swerved back into his own lane. Also, luckily the motorcyclist can still manage to ride his bike without any incident and there is also no vehicles trailing behind me at the time which also allows me to continue my journey without any incident.

The motorcyclist assume that he can just get in and out of the lane as he wished without even considering to look left or right to ensure that it is safe for them to do so. As a car driver it is very difficult sometime to predict the behaviour of the motorcyclists. Sometime they just behave unexpectedly which can cause severe accident. Thus, in order to reduce the fatality rate due to accidents, there are a lot of things need to be improved especially for the motorcyclists driving behavior.

23 August, 2009

Dodgy degrees

According to Star, there are several degree awarding bodies that award degrees with little or no study. They are ready to hand out the awards to many who want to boost their business position, social status or political standing.

Many Malaysians are found to had bought those dubious Bachelor’s, Master’s and even Doctorates from popular degree “conferring” bodies, among them the American-based Preston Uni-versity and Newport University; Dublin Metropolitan University (DMU) and Irish International University (IIU). Read more about the report here: Dodgy degrees

Just beware that there is no such thing as an easy way to earn your degrees. If you were asked to register for such a degree make sure that you check with the authorities about the authenticity of the degree being offerred.

Kuala Penyu Ferry

Kuala Penyu Ferry
Originally uploaded by wanhashim
This ferry is a vital link for users to travel from Kuala Penyu in Sabah. This is proven by the existence of this ferry crossing the Kuala Penyu river. The ferry operates only during the day until 3 pm.

The ferry is powered by diesel engine which will pull the attached steel chain crossing the river. Just imagine what happen if the ferry's engine malfunction, then the ferry service will be disrupted. Or what happen if the engine fails in the middle of the river and just guess what can happen. I think the operator of the ferry has thought of all of the consequences and they might have been prepared.