27/10/2014 - 19:00
IN REMEMBRANCE: We are fed with news on road deaths practically on a daily basis and every so often we are given the statistics on the fatalities.
On Aug 24 for example, Malaysia Road Safety Department (JKJR) director general Datuk Dr Tam Weng Wah said the national death count last year was 6,915 out of 477,204 road accidents, or an average of 20 deaths per day.
On Oct 13, Sarawak Infrastructure Development and Communications Minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin said road accidents were among the major cause of deaths. Last year Sarawak registered 371 fatal accidents which accounted for 421 deaths or 1.15 road deaths daily while this year, the death toll up to August was 277. And counting.
Oct 21, 48-year-old Egnes Monica Atau from Rh Muli, Sungai Sebungan, Sebauh in Bintulu died on the spot after the car she was travelling in skidded near Rh Guntol in Suai, Niah.
Oct 22, a motorist was killed when his car overturned into a ditch after it was rammed by a lorry along the Simunjan-Serian Road.
Oct 24, former Sarawak Teachers’ Union (STU) president William Ghani Bina was fighting for his life at the Sarawak General Hospital after being hit by a car while crossing a road the day earlier. He died three days later.
Who is at fault for all these unnecessary deaths? Or was this fate?
Datuk Tam says: “Sometimes we do hear people deem deaths from road accidents as ‘takdir’ (fated) but more importantly, people shouldn’t be killed when an accident takes place. If possible, not even injured and this is why the safety committee has been working towards getting the environment, vehicles, human attitude, and the whole transport system to be safer. The whole aim is to ensure that nobody gets killed or injured.”
That’s statistics, always dry and grim, but never making our roads any safer.
On the other hand, the roads are claiming more lives and once in a while the victims are our friends. This time Ghani, someone as big as you care to imagine he was.
Ghani was STU president for 21 years before stepping down last year. As STU president, he was almost irreplaceable, calling it a day because only a teacher can head the union. The veteran educationist was turning 60 and retiring.
Twenty-one long years speak volume of the man’s leadership quality.
“We have lost a very good union leader. On a personal note, he was my mentor,” says current STU president Jisin Nyud.
“He dedicated his life to the betterment of teachers,” says retired journalist Rajah Murugaiah.
“Sarawak teachers remember what you have done for STU,” says netizen Richard Sageng Anyi.
“My dad was a primary school headmaster and he talks highly about you. A towering personality you are. A great loss to Sarawak indeed,” posts Tommy Raymond Jok.
To me, he was well-read, very knowledgeable and a highly principled person.
And most of all, he was a father and a husband. That’s the saddest part.
- See more at: http://www.theantdaily.com/Main/Unionist-Ghani-hard-act-to-follow#sthash.INKQENI3.dpuf