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The Effects of Balik Kampung OooBalik Kampung Ooo Balik Kampung Malaysians favourite song Balik Kampung will

ll always be played in the electronic mass media to create a merry environment in conjunction with a forthcoming festival. For instance, Chinese New Year, Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Deepavali, Hari Gawai and many other auspicious days will be celebrated in Malaysia a multiracial country. During these festive seasons, there will be a massive exodus as a lot of people working or living at cities would return to their villages. No doubt this phenomenon does contribute to many effects, either positive or negative. Normally we can observe that there will be a horrendous traffic jam along the road heading north to the hometown when there is a long holiday. For example, the Klang Valley heading north to Kedah and Perlis would be congested. This is due to the heavy flow of vehicles as people start leaving the city for their week-long break. Mostly, holiday makers will take off early in the morning to avoid traffic congestion. Unfortunately, everyone has thought in the same way and so most of them will get stuck in their journey. Obviously, those transports will move slowly and almost bumper to bumper. In a situation at which road users are not tolerant among each other, some drivers would start to get agitated, impatient and hot-tempered. They would honk non-stop or overtake cars illegally without considering the speed limit and traffic rule. Consequently, traffic mishaps would occur and therefore worsen the traffic jam. On the other hand, those roads at towns and cities are almost deserted during a festive season. Most of the shops will be closed for a few days because there is no business done. Of course, businessmen in the cities gain no profit if they opened their shop. Some want to enjoy a short break too. Besides, houses are empty. At this moment, a city is said to be a dead town which is quite but not peaceful. There will be Mat Rempit racing on the highway and acting dangerously. Sometimes, a vroom and zoom and then boom would be heard clearly in the town. Directly, we knew that another Mat Rempit has fallen and his life would end in death. Brokenin cases would also increase when most citizens left their house in the city. Their houses become the target to be broken into because no one is at home, no neighbour is going to take care of the house and the security guard is taking a break too. Every year, many measures have been taken with the aim to reduce accidents, like the polices Ops Sikap , the Road Transport Departments Ops Bersepadu and the launching of National Road Safety Campaign. Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha has urged every driver to obey the 3K principle Kelajuan (Speed), Kesabaran (Patience), Kecergasan (Freshness). Plus Expressways Berhad (PLUS) has also issued a travel time advisory, suggesting a certain time for a particular journey to be started. All the police officers have sacrificed their time to ensure the road users safety. Yet, all those ways seem to be useless to achieve the purpose. According to the table of Safe Driving Saves Lives, at eighth and ninth January 2000, there are 106, 256 and 354 accidents on highways, federal roads and other roads respectively. The number of deaths on highways are 3, 8 on federal roads and 12 on others road. So, drivers should be cautious. They have to realize that safety is more important than arriving home earlier. If anything happens on them, for example road fatality, a day that everyone should

be happy and merry would turn out to be a mournfully day. Consequently, there will be a great financial loss. Therefore, drivers ought to think before they leap to ensure a safe journey. Nowadays, everything has a high price. To return home, one has to budget carefully to afford all the spending. They need to service their vehicles to ensure optimum tyre pressure, radiator water and engine oil levels. During the journey, drivers also often visit the petrol station when the fuel is used up to fill up the fuel tank. Though it costs a lot, holiday makers have to spend the money to reach their destination. Besides, we cannot deny that presents for the family in the hometowns cannot be forgotten too. In addition, they have to prepare delicacies, cakes, cookies and other savoury foods for Open House at their hometowns. This is not included the new year money to be given to children or old people to wish them having a good new year. Though celebrating a festival involves enormous expenditure, it is worthy as it not only fosters the relationship between family members and between friends but also strengthens the ties between people from different races. Moreover, during festive seasons, the likelihood for most of the schools to take the opportunity to declare extra holidays is high because they want to give students a longer break and also avoid students from rushing back. However, when the school reopens, some students will still absent because of laziness and tiredness. This is because they will choose to balik KL the day before school reopens. Furthermore, when the school replaces those extra holidays in the weekend, there would be a poor attendance too. Students would play truant by giving reasons that the bus drivers are not fetching them in the weekend or their parents are too busy to send them to school. Due to the great absence of students, some teachers would not start the lesson and therefore lead to a lack of time for the teacher to finish the syllabus. When the teacher rushes to finish the syllabus, students might not catch up. Then, this will result in a bad achievement by the student. To sum up, the balik kampung phenomenon does bring a lot of drawbacks than benefits. However, I think it all depends on individual. Everybody should always be tolerant on the road and wise in spending money for celebration. We have to arrange our time properly too so that we will not neglect our works or studies while celebrating. So, balik kampung is still a must for celebration of a festival.

Reported by,

(ONG SHIAN JIA) How many times have we all seen a normally mild mannered driver becomes agitated and reckless when they are trying to rush home in a traffic jam?