Who invented the first motorcycle, I am not aware. But who was the inventor of the first bicycle? That, I’m quite certain is J.K. Starley.
The bicycle, history tells me, was invented during the Industrial Revolution in the mid 19th century.
As a young boy, I still remember very clearly a few brands of well known brands of bikes such as Raleigh, Robin Hood and Sunbeam.
In the alter 1950s and early 1960s, bicycle were sold at around the prices of RM150 and RM250 each. For those who are not aware, every bicycle has an individual number of its own. As such, if your bicycle should be stolen, you can always lodge a complain at the local police station.
And where you may wish to know, is the above number located?
The individual number is embossed on the metal bar which holds up the bicycle’s seat.
Do you know that there are specifically 2 varieties of bicycle?
One for the ladies and the other for the boys or men. And how do you go about distinguishing them?
The men folks bicycles have a cross-bar, which stretches across from the seat to the handle-bar of the bicycle. In reality, one could seat a friend on this bar. Nonetheless, since young, my elders have always advised me that it is an offence permitting a pal or a friend to sit in the above position.
Well then, what about the ladies bicycles?
Ladies bikes, if you should observe it carefully, are built slightly different from gentleman’s bikes as they call it. The ladies bike are built with V shape metal contraptions which connects up the bikes framework.
A bicycle, which is built in such a way, easily allows a lady, especially one who is wearing a skirt to lift her legs across to the other side of the bike in her attempts to get astride a bicycle.
In this manner, a ladies modesty is therefore preserved. Think about it and you’ll surely agree with what I am referring to.
Speaking about bicycles, it would only be fair if mention is made of another type of bicycle which is available in Malaysia. People call it a gentleman’s bike.
This bicycle is in reality meant for adults or gentlemen, so to speak. Tall men seem to prefer such bicycles. They are larger in size and much heavier than normal bikes.
Without a doubt, these bikes costs a lot more money than other smaller bikes. I remember quite vividly my paternal grandfather, Ong Hock Chuan, a well-known auctioneer, owning one such a bicycle. The bicycle in question was not only huge, it was also strong.
And of course, my elder brother and myself always found it difficult to handle it. My grandfather, finally sold this gentleman’s bike to my father for RM300 in the 1960s. My grandfather, who was then in his 70’s, had by then contacted Parkinson’s disease and his hands were trembling. My grandmother eventually felt it was no longer advisable for my grandfather to ride a bike then.
In the early 1960’s, a new form of bicycle was introduced. It was as the Chinese says, half a bicycle and half a motorbike. It was called a moped. I still remember my uncle, Ong Han Leong, who was formerly attached to the East Asiatic Company at Port Klang , riding his moped to our house in Telok Pulai, Klang.
My uncle would ride his moped, when he discovered the machine running low on fuel. I was about 13 or 14 years old then. I was pretty intrigued by the machine at that time.
In the later years following, our country saw the introduction of racing bicycles into the market. Racing bicycles were quite costly. They were however light as they we made of alluminium.
Racing bicycles could go fast as they had gears mechanism. On of top of that, racing bicycles come in bright and attractive colours.
But the above were not the only types of bicycles available in our country. In the early fifties and sixties, trishaws, which were in reality 3 wheeled bicycles, became rather popular in the small towns and kampung areas.
It was said, Penang, which is popularly known as the Pearl of The Orient, mushroomed with trishaws. It became a cheap and popular means of transport with the lower strata of our society.
As I recall, as a young lad, I can still remember distinctly 3 trishaw riders. One was Yunos, the son of Cik Mah, a kuih seller, living in Kampung Bengkali, near Teluk Pulai. Then there was a Sikh trishaw rider named Ranjit, living in Kampung Ponnusamy in Teluk Pulai too.
And finally, trishaw rider, Khee Kang, who was a Peranakan by descent and also a distant relative of mine, should also be made mention of.
It should be reiterated here that the majority of trishaw riders are hard working people who live a rather frugal life.
In Melaka, trishaws which are brightly coloured and decorated with a variety of flags and buntings, still attract foreign tourists who throng the historical city. Penang, mentioned earlier, still possess its fair share of trishaws too. They are indeed very popular amongst foreign tourists even up to this day.
In one of my earlier article, I talked about electric bicycle and how I hope the government will not make the wrong choice of banning the so called electric bicycle. The electric bicycle is infact a boon, an assistance to the older folks, pensioners, kampung folks and especially who may have suffered physical deformities, including those who were born handicapped.
The electric bicycle is indeed a great help to the above group of people. Banning its use would certainly cause much despair to many people, who depend on it as a valuable means of transport.
The humble bicycle is pollution free. Think about its advantages. The government should infact be encouraging people to ride bicycle more. It gives riders good exercise.
Besides, the use of bicycles will lessen traffic jams and environmental pollution. It would go a long way to create a cleaner and healthier atmosphere which we all need. Viva to the bicycles! Why not get one today?
Good parents, especially a father should ideally set good examples for their children to follow. In the Malay language, there is a famous saying, “Seperti ketam menyuruh anaknya jalan betul”. Literally translated the above idiom simply means, “A crab asking its young ones to walk straight”.
Well, an impossible task, won’t you agree?
I was at a cross-junction not too long ago, waiting for the traffic lights to turn green. The light on my side was red. And obviously, I stopped and waited.
After all, I do not wish to be caught beating the red traffic light anyway. For those readers who are unaware, it’s a hefty RM300 fine for being indiscipline and committing a traffic light offence.
After all, to a wage earner, and a low one at that, the above sum will go a long way to contributing toward lightening ones expense towards his family.
A person, it is my opinion, opts to ride a motorcycle, not because he likes it. Who on earth would prefer to straddle a motorcycle than to drive a car instead?
As reiterated, riding motors represents something that is very dangerous. With such traffic congestions that clog our roads these days, a motorcycle rider has to constantly be on guard to ensure his safety and that of his pillion rider.
Before I should stray too far way from today’s topic in question, let us go back to my original motive of writing this article.
As I stated earlier on, the traffic lights on my side of the road was red. As I stopped, a few motorcycle riders, some old and some middle aged, came rushing along towards the traffic lights.
Some stopped to observe the traffic lights. A few however gathered speed and sped along dangerously across the road. Traffic on the opposite side were at green. Cars were seen coming out of the junction ahead and turning right.
It was at this junction that I witnessed something which I feel should not have happened.
An Indian motorcycle rider, who was ferrying his teenage son behind him, then came along. Instead of stopping for the traffic light, this man unfortunately choose to ignore it instead. As a responsible father, he should have set a better example for his son to follow.
But he did not, what poor discipline!
I was in reality rather appalled with what the middle aged Indian man did. Immediately after the above incident happened, a traffic police, also riding a motorcycle, also sped across. Malaysian traffic cops as you know are dressed in dark trousers and white uniform.
Before I could utter, “What’s happening”, it suddenly dawned on me that the cop was infact chasing after the Indian motorcycle rider who had chosen to beat the red traffic light then.
By now, the offending motorcycle rider was almost 50 yards away. My contention of the traffic police intention were indeed right. The cop then put out his left hand, signaling the Indian motorcycle rider to stop at the side of the road.
Your guess is as good as mine. The offender has been pulled up for committing a serious and dangerous offence. Serves the rider right.
Readers should know what a traffic policeman’s duty is. They patrol our roads to see to it that Malaysian drivers and riders obey the traffic rules and regulations. It’s for our own safety.
And not let’s come to the question of how one settles a traffic light offence that which has been committed by the Indian motorcycle rider mentioned earlier.
It is my opinion that the police cop would be handling the offender a summons. Will the cop listen to appeals made?
I do not think so. After all, an offender should be taught a lesson.
In this article, no attempts will be made to cut corners or hide anything from readers. Facts are facts. They have to be disclosed.
A person who has committed a traffic offense can of course choose to settle the matter. The motorcycle rider can also very well decide whether he choose to attend court or otherwise. I will however abstain from telling you how the Malaysian traffic offences can be waived or settled. Readers are not so naïve, I believe.
The traffic policeman’s action upon the motorcycle rider who committed the traffic light offence that I witness along the road is something which shall be continued by the police. Motorcycle riders who choose to beat the traffic lights and thereby endanger other road users, should never be condoned. They should be fined.
Those who receive summonses, especially police ones, can now pay such summonses on-line. Early payment (within a week), is available at only RM150. Delay longer, and you will end up paying more.
Talking about summonses, the authorities say 1.7 million traffic offenders are wanted for not settling their summonses. It may not be possible to arrest them all at once, but police say, the time has arrived to take stern action.
The police are going after a few hundred thousand offenders at a time. Operation Cantas Traffic has begun. Those who have summonses to settle, beware! The police, in their road blocks, will be out to get you.
Suruhanjaya Perkhidmatan Awam Darat (SPAD) or the Land Public Transport Commission whist is today responsible for public transport service such as taxis, lorries and tour buses in the country, is said to be now set to suspend the Genting Highlands bus operator.
The above bus operator has its Headquarters at Jalan Pekeliling, KL. From what I am aware of, the above bus service to the top of Malaysia’s well known hill resort is not only popular, it is the sole bus transport service that is available to the public currently.
For those who may not be well acquainted with this bus company, the service which it provides to the public is invaluable. Besides that, the cost of travelling up to the hill top, which is about 6,666 feet in height, as a regular visitor to Genting, permit me to tell you that cost of travelling up this this hill resort is cheap.
If not mistaken, I believe it costs only but less than RM5 for a one way journey up to the Genting Highlands Bus Terminal at the First World Hotel.
The only drawback about the services provided by this operator, Genting Highlands Transport Sdn Bhd, is visitors to this hill resort is that one is not allowed to make earlier, prior booking.
Tickets are only sold approximately half and hour earlier before the bus departs from the bus terminal, It therefore works on the principle of “first come first serve” basis. Apart from that, it is my understanding that services provided by this particular bus company extend to well 9:00 pm daily. It is as such, a boon to visitors to Genting Highlands resorts who have missed their regular buses earlier.
Before proceeding further with this article, readers should be reminded about an unfortunate incident which took place in 21st August 2013. A bus plunged into a ravine at the Genting Highlands, killing 37 passengers.
The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD), then conducted an investigation into the horrifying incident. SPAD’s Executive Officer, En. Nur Ismail Mohamad Kamal, told the public, that based on the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety (MIROS) report on the matter, a decision has been made to suspend the services of Genting Highlands Transport Sdn Bhd.
The suspension is expected to be meted out within a week’s duration. This means that the company will have to cease its operating its services immediately.
When accident occurs, it is only right that the authorities concerned, Road Transport Department, the Police and in particular MIROS, conduct lengthy and detail investigations into it.
The decision, when presented to the authorities, finally ends in a suspension for the bus company concerned. The suspension , I believe will have tremendous repercussions upon the public.
Not all people are aware of one thing. Those who visit Genting Highlands do not do so just to gamble at the casino alone. Some go there for holidays. Many infact, have their honeymoons there too,
Families, with their children find Genting a cool and beautiful place to be at. The famous Theme Park is especially a favorite to local teenagers. They take the opportunity to go there whenever possible.
The Genting Highlands Resort, is only a hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur. Believe it or not, the crowd there on weekends and public holidays is just maddening.
But one thing should not be forgotten. Besides local people mentioned above, foreign tourists also make use of the bus services there too.
With its imminent suspension announced, what is going to happen?
I lament over the above decision. You see, many people travel up to the hill resort to work there on a daily basis. A travelling transport expenditure of a few hundred ringgit per month is more affordable to these people then the alternative option of staying there.
Cost of living at the hill top resort is not going to be low, believe me. As such, the above mentioned group of people will definitely be the hardest hit by SPAD decision to suspend bus services provided by the Genting Highlands Transport Sdn Bhd bus company.
Acting transport minister, Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein says the government reserves the right or power to close down the bus company. Besides that, the courts can even take stern action against the company’s top management too.
It is all well said and done, as the saying goes. But the authorities should consider carefully, the repercussions I have brought up earlier on.
According to reliable reports, some 1000 people rely upon the company bus services to commute daily to Genting Highlands Resort and surrounding location like Gombak.
Chief Executive Officer of SPAD, En. Mohd Nur, is of the opinion, and he reiterates this, “it is going to have a major impact on them, without a doubt” However, not all is lost though.
The Commission is checking alternative arrangements to solve the problem. One thing however is for certain. If and when the final decision to terminate Genting Highlands resort’s responsibility to solve the transport problem will be created as a result!
Currently, the resort maroon-coloured buses only provide transport services to its cable car half way station at Gohtong Jaya. Will the above company buses now ply up to the top of the hill in the near future? It is left to be seen.
Should you ask my honest opinion, my answer to it would be “there is no other way but it!” Genting Highlands Resorts has to do it.