SK Klassen Bridge

A Bridge In Need...

While on travelling duty to one of the places in Sri Aman I cam eacross an interesting case of the SK Klassen Bridge. The problem of SK Klassen bridge came into light when Mr. Sylvester, the Headmaster wrote to our office January this year informing us that the bridge had been damaged by the flood. I despatched one of my officers to assess the bridge on February 2009. Being a non technical person he could only take the photos of the damaged bridge. This could have been just one of those cases which would have been buried in the files (due to the By Elections, Prime Minister's and many more events happening here), if not for another reminder from the by Mr. Sylvester in June 2009. This time we despatched a technical team to assess the situation. Initially, it was not easy as we discovered no single department wants to put claim to it as it was built in the 1960s. I argued that there was no time for red tapes when lives, especially children's are at stake.

During school days, SK Klassen has about 124 children attending Primary 1 to primary 6 classes and 22 Kindergarden students who use this bridge on a daily basis ~ accompanied by their parents (plus 20 school staff - academic and non academic)

A disabled child walked to school by his mother crosses the bridge

Several wires supporting the bridge in its place have snapped. Some had snapped since last year. The Jabatan Kerja Raya technical team who came to assess the bridge informed us that the bridge needs to be replaced soon. I have to agree for during my follow up visit, I figured that the structural strain on the bridge would not withstand another onslaught strong flood currents. The next river current from the flood could overwhelm and sweep away this bridge.

Red tapes due to lack of funds or lengthy correspondence can lead to tragic consequences for the young students and others who use this bridge if no action is taken soon

Currently I am awaiting for the report from our technical department which I hope is done quickly. There may be other places with similiar scenarios as I continue to tour the Division. My study on the case sees that the request for the improvement to the bridge is a long time issue. Non action is due to the the message not communicated effectively to the higher ups. Our local Yang Berhormats have done their best to highlight this issue. All the Ministries and headquarters are understandably up their noses on the various development projects request. I also discovered that proposals or requests for replacement and construction of a new bridge has not been properly channeled or recorded due to several changes in personnels handling the case. It seems that the agencies are doing what they are required to do within their scope of function - investigate. monitor, evaluate and propose. But no one is communicating on the urgency need and delivery. We may say this is an urgent matter, but when it reaches at a higher plane, the urgency is diffused by other super urgent requests. In highlighting this, I hope some kind of assistance (be it a temporary bridge or emergency repairs for this bridge) can be rendered to SK Klassen. I, for sure will pursue this with the support of the Resident. Our young students risk their lives everyday while crossing this bridge. I believe this puts the request for an immediate solution as Priority One.


Pn Hamidah said…
Clearly we do not wish or anticipate anything worst to happen before somebody would actually act on the dire need of a new bridge.Any disastrous incident involving lives of the innocents should be well avoided at all costs.Your continuous efforts in pursuing this matter to the relevant agencies are highly laudable.
Eeee..bahayanya. I strongly support u.
John Goh said…
for the safety of young generation, every effort much put into it...............