Published on December 29th, 2020 | by Subhash Nair


What Can Non-Ministers Do After Experiencing Pothole Trouble?

By now you must have heard to Minister Khairy Jamaluddin on Sunday. If you haven’t yet, here’s a summary. The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation was cycling near Kampung Seri Cheeding in Banting on the 27th of December when he ran over a pothole and fell into a nearby ditch. KJ then tweeted the damage with the caption “Pothole, ditch, KJ. 2020 keeps giving.”

Within hours of KJ’s tweet, JKR Kuala Langat issued a response.

It was an apology directed at the minister. They promised swift action and wished him a speedy recovery. That’s all well and good, but what about the rest of us Malaysians? How many Malaysian bikers have gotten into far worse accidents due to potholes? It’s such a big issue that there’s a group out there who have dedicated themselves to filling in these potholes by themselves. KJ himself later commented that motorcyclist were in more danger than he was on his bicycle.

As car drivers, we’re not in as much danger – of course severely poorly maintained road surfaces can and have caused accidents. But a more common problem for us is dented rims. We’ve seen this happen to our own cars, we’ve seen this happen to our friend’s cars and we’ve even seen this happen to test cars.

The question is, who do we claim repairs costs from and what can we regular road users do right now? Well, claiming repair costs might prove a little difficult as you may have to sue not just JKR but the local councils – which means legal fees, a long wait and a chance of not even winning anything at the end of it all. There have been cases where Malaysians have won suits, but this was after multiple appeals.

BHP diesel

If you’re planning to sue, you’ll have to prove that it’s a public road, the potholes have cause more than one accident, no warning signs were placed by the authorities, the authorities know about the potholes before the accidents happened, among other things. You’ll probably also need a good lawyer and a cooperative witness from JKR.

But if that all sounds like too much work for you, maybe you could try just notifying the authorities of potholes along your regular routes first. The Selangor authorities actually use data from Waze to find and fix potholes, but users have to first report them. It’s fairly easy, and the link above shows you exactly how it’s done.

Besides that, it looks like we Malaysians are pretty much stuck with the current situation. Just drive safely, don’t run overly-expensive or rare rims, and inspect your tyres regularly.

About the Author

Written work on @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.

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