Tuesday, June 13, 2006

"Close one Eye" cannot acheive 2020 vision...

Here is an excerpt from Ms. Alicia Au's letter to Malaysiakini with regards to her experience in Tioman island. It is the shoddy maintenance of public amenities/services like these that prevents Malaysia from becoming a big player in the Tourism Industry. About 6 months ago, I brought an American friend and his family to Sungai Gabai, a beautiful natural waterfall near KL. The newly built building at the carpark which was supposed to house a toilet and some shops were half completed with no water or electricity. The waterfall area had broken glass. My friend and his daughter had glass cut into their feet.

The reason for all this is a simple Malaysian disease called "Close one eye" syndrome. Its ok, close one eye, let it go, tak apa..... Hence we get uncompleted projects, unmaintained toilets and public amenities, haze every year, accidents on the roads from unmaintained busses and lorries and buses which spew black smoke...destroying our beautiful environment. Incidentally it is hard to acheieve 2020 vision when you've got a Close one eye (COE) atitude!

......When making a police report, we were advised that Bluewater had been receiving a large number of summonses during the day mainly for this practice of overloading and we were further advised that cross-decking of passengers is only allowed under the direct supervision of the maritime authorities. This operator shows a blatant disregard for passenger safety, their arrogance and the high-handed manner they deal with their clients has to be experienced to be believed. At the very least, the captains of Bluewater ferries 8 and 9 should have their certification revoked, their comments and attitudes show them to be quite unfit to hold a position of any responsibility. One can only surmise, as on this occasion they were lucky. Should an accident have occurred, they would no doubt be running for cover and pointing the finger of blame everywhere except at the people it should be pointed at, themselves. Issuing summonses against the operator is a joke. Any paltry fine likely as the outcome of this weekend’s shenanigans will be far outweighed by the collections from fare-paying clients they regard as so much cattle. Again at the very least, this company’s licence to operate should be revoked with immediate effect, and thus send a message to all ferry services that such downright dangerous practice and poor service attitudes will no longer be tolerated. The real losers here are the Tourism Board of Malaysia, and the resorts and diving operators on Tioman, whose hard work has been wasted. We as a group will not return to this location, you can be certain that word-of-mouth from such a large group of people will dissuade even larger numbers of people to change their vacation locations to elsewhere. How long can such poor service be tolerated? Or are the authorities simply waiting to react to a large-scale disaster involving one of these cowboy operators before wringing their hands and saying they were not aware of the situation?

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